Good, Small Idea
You watch the traffic light countdown as you cross the street, letting you know just how many seconds you have before you're into a danger area, and you think, "Boy, that's such a good idea and such an obvious one, why did it take so long?"
No explanation, really. Just one of the quirky things about life, that the most obvious answers, the ones staring you in face, seem the most elusive.
The proposed "verification line" the NHL is toying with this week at the Mastercard Centre in Etobicoke would seem to fall into that category. An easily detectable green line just over three inches inside the net would allow NHL hockey ops to more easily determine whether a puck has legally crossed all the way over the goal line, which is one of those age-old debates you get into in hockey.
Was it in? Was the puck all the way over the line, or just mostly, or on its edge? Is there a little white ice visible between the goal line and the puck, or isn't there? With the verification line, the concept is dead simple, that if the puck is touching that line it has to be in because the distance between the goal line and the new line is the width of the puck.
Basically, it's easier to determine if a line is being touched as opposed to if a line isn't being touched. Makes sense, and this seems an idea which would be both sensible and very easy to implement.
And there's the value of this R and D camp. It doesn't have to come up with ideas that change the game, just ones that help to make the current version of the sport a little better, a little clearer and a little easier for fans to digest.