Will this movie end the same?

MIKE ZEISBERGER

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

Just one click of the television remote should help confused NHLers better understand the new rules being implimented by the league this season.

In order to document what players will -- and, more importantly, will not -- be allowed to get away with in 2005-06, the NHLalready has started shipping a DVD to general managers and coaches, one which attempts to highlight which tactics will be deemed no-nos by the league's referees.

With training camps set to open just around the corner, the league's operations department hopes the flick will provide both players and management with a better grasp of what officials will be calling.

"We hope it accelerates the learning curve,"said long-time referee Stephen Walkom, who recently stepped off the ice and into the office in his new role as the league's director of officiating.

"That, coupled with the exhibition season each team plays, should alleviate some of the fears of the players come opening night."

COMPLAINING ALREADY

Although the new rules have yet to be tested in NHLgame action, cries of protests already have surfaced. Goalies such as Ed Belfour and MartinBrodeur don't like the fact that they will be limited in where they can handle the puck, while physical players like Bryan McCabe wonder which manoeuvres will land them a two-minute visit to the sin bin.

On the job for just over a month, Walkom knows that there will be many more howls of disagreement from NHLers and fans alike, especially with many predicting the regulations will lead to a parade of penalties over the first few months.

Besides, these vows of cracking down on obstruction have been made before. In most cases, the scenario always plays out the same way -- the return of clutching and grabbing after two or three months.

Walkom understands why many observers feel this time will be no different than the others. Nevertheless, he's sticking to his guns.

"I'm not really thinking about the (complaints) and I don't really care," he said. "I'm just concerned about the implimentation of these rules that I feel will help our game.

"The coaching of illegal tactics in our game has gone on for 20 years. Fans have complained for years about the clutching and grabbing, especially on the puck carrier. Well, the new standard of enforcement will address that."

The league's educational DVD will be the first step in that process.


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