It is almost here! The 2014- 2015 season!!!

The regular season starts on October 8, 2014 and ends on April 11, 2015. The total number of games that will be played by each team is 82. The number of teams, 30! This year should be more exciting and mixed up than ever. Why you can ask? I shall answer you in this column. Read on hockey lovers, read on…

First is the fact that in Canada, Rogers Communication took over the CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. It is an end to an era. Will it be a big difference in how we watch or what we see? I think so. It might not feel like ours anymore. CBC made the night of hockey Canadian, we felt pride in the game. Will we feel different as the season proceeds? Let me know.

This is the first year of the new draft lottery. This lottery is going to be used to choose the first three overall picks instead of the first only. I am looking forward to checking this new idea out. Too bad they don’t include ticket lotteries. Each team holds a few tickets and has a free lottery for their followers. I bet hockey lovers would love it, who wouldn’t??

Rule changes are in this air! So far I noticed eight different changes to the game. The NHL board voted on this in June and in September 2014 the Player’s Association okayed it. I will not go into the details here. There are too many and well my space is limited. A few did catch my eyeballs, such as:

In overtime, the teams will change sides and the ice will be dry- scraped.  Sounds painful! I always thought that in overtime the teams should change sides anyways. Too bad I am not in charge!

The area behind the net in which the goalie is allowed to play the puck (trapezoidal area) will be increased by four feet.

The final item I will mention here has to do with the “Situation Room.”  They have been granted more latitude to review plays and such. I think that is a sweet idea when you have a lot riding on it! Okay, a few times I dropped a few coins on a game or two…

I am not finished with the season of revises yet! Believe it or not there are a lot of uniform changes in the NHL. I counted around 12 redesigns this minute but there might be more! Changes to the uniforms include color changes, classic shirt changes and  different patches. Overall my favorite change has to go to Phoenix. They didn’t just change uniforms they changed their name also. They are not called the Phoenix Coyotes anymore, their new name is the Arizona Coyotes. I really don’t get the big change in the name but yeah, I don’t make the big bucks either!

One last big readjustment to make is the fact that some teams, do have different coaches.  From Carolina to Pittsburgh and towards the north in Vancouver, the style of plays and the feel of them will be different. Who knows if a new coach will help or hinder a team but a team with a new coach will always play differently. Good or bad it is how the game is played!

So, sit back, relax and save me some popcorn- the new season is almost here!

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, her team is always the Toronto Maple Leafs. Instead of falling for movie stars, Rochelle fell for hockey players. As she grew up, her passion grew to include wanting to be the first female NHL player, the first female 'water' girl for her team and catching a true NHL puck. She did try for the puck, only to learn that A) the puck could have killed her, if she tried to get it or B) you needed to buy one. Years later Rochelle still loves the game! Now a days instead of wanting to join the players, (don't let her fool you, she still wants to join the team) she writes about them. Her one wish in the world is to be alive when the Toronto Maple Leafs win their next Stanley Cup! Rochelle has a certificate in Marketing/Communications at the British Columbia School of Technology and a writing certificate from Simon Fraser University. She has started her own writing company, "From Rochelle's Pen".

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