So the lockout’s over, and hockey will return this fall. We’ve got the salary cap that the players insisted they would never accept, as well as the 24% salary rollback, although the minimum salary is now an insane $450,000, so presumably the lower earning players actually got a raise despite the rollback. Most interesting of all, however, are the rule changes, intended to make the game more entertaining. I’m not a big fan of the shootout, mainly because it seems unfair to decide the output of the game based on 3 shots by the best shooters – this is a team game, not an individual competition. However, there’s no denying the excitement of watching a shootout, so I’m sure I’ll get used to it. I like the new icing rule – if you ice the puck, you can’t make any line changes before the ensuing face-off. So if you’re killing a penalty, you have to actually work to get a line change – you can’t just grab the puck and fire it down the ice. Tag-up offsides are back, and the red line has been removed for two-line passes, although I don’t know the intricacies of the game well enough to know what effect that will have.
We took Ryan out to ride his bike yesterday – only about his 4th or 5th time on a two-wheeler (with no training wheels), and he’s almost mastered it. When I last went with him, he could go maybe 10 feet, rather wobbly, and then put his foot down. Yesterday, Gail gave him a little push to start, and he was off – probably went by 5 or 6 houses before stopping. By the end of the route around the block, he was starting by himself, and not even wobbling as much as at the beginning. I’m impressed with how fast he’s learned – his first time ever was the July 1st weekend in Ottawa.