We got new overtime rules, division alignment news and another Ottawa signing in sight.
First up is a no shocker with Derek Grant settling his case and accepting a one year, two-way deal worth $700,000/$85,000 before hitting the arbitration table on the 24th. That seems like a fair deal for the 24-year-old entering his fourth pro season as his last three-year contract had him averaging $605,000/$65,000. Derek had 12 goals and 10 assists in 46 games with the Binghamton Senators and saw some action up top in Ottawa, getting 20 games in scoring no goals but having 2 assists and saw plenty of time effectively killing penalties.
— Derek Grant (@DGrant57) July 10, 2014
He broke into the AHL in the spring of 2011 playing in 14 regular season games and seven playoff contests as both he and David Dziurzynski are the only two remaining players from that Calder Cup championship season. The PK specialist had 3 shorthanded goals for Binghamton last season and led the league with 5 in 2013-’14. He’s eyed to start here in the Southern Tier of NY and certainly will get some call-ups at some point next season for Ottawa.
The league has shifted some teams for next seasons but most notably effecting the B-Sens in the East is Syracuse leaving to join the NorthEast with the new Phantoms team located in Lehigh Valley, PA taking its place. I’m sure Binghamton will continue the Interstate 81 rivalry north of us if perhaps not for 10 games slated like prior seasons, at least eight should be on tap between the two cities. At the same time, I’m thrilled to have the Phantoms in my division as they have given the Sens fits the last couple of years and will be gunning for the East Division Champs.
The league alignment can be viewed here on AHL’s website. The playoff format remains the same.
Now the new rule changes that go in effect next season as follows from the AHL website;
Rule 85 (“Overtime”)
- During the regular season, the sudden-death overtime period will be seven minutes (7:00) in length, preceded by a “dry scrape” of the entire ice surface.
- Teams will change ends at the start of overtime.
- Full playing strength will be 4-on-4 until the first whistle following three minutes of play (4:00 remaining), at which time full strength will be reduced to 3-on-3 for the duration of the overtime period.
- If the game is still tied following overtime, a winner will be determined by a three-player shootout.
This OT rule I like very much. At first glance, extending the extra session by two minutes wasn’t going to do much but drag the game further, but after continuing reading on, reducing the players on the ice from a 4 x 4 to a 3 x 3? Nice. Takes excitement of overtime one step further putting the emphasis on defense with lots of open ice for the offense.
A couple of minor ones were also added with the following adjustments;
Rule 20.4 (“Major Penalties”)
- An automatic game misconduct will be applied to any player who has been assessed two major penalties for fighting or three major penalties for any infraction in the same game.
Rule 9.6 (“Helmets”)
- A player on the ice whose helmet comes off during play will be assessed a minor penalty unless he immediately (a) exits the playing surface or (b) puts the helmet back on with the chin strap properly fastened.
What’s missing is the delay of game penalty for shooting the puck into the stands which I’m not a big fan of. I thought this would have been addressed and treated like an icing call. Guess not. So the rule remains by getting a penalty for making a mistake, because clearly that is not the intention to begin with..right?