AHL coaches meet to discuss standards

An AHL Coaches Workshop, attended by coaches from all 28 American Hockey League teams took place in Springfield, Mass., on Wednesday.

The primary purpose of the workshop, the first such meeting in recent memory, was to allow the AHL to communicate the league’s new playing standards directly to its teams’ coaching staffs, who will use them as teaching tools for their players when training camps open next week.

The same message will be communicated to AHL referees by the league at their training camp next week in Fort Erie, Ont.

In 2004-05, the AHL will be applying a stricter standard of enforcement on restraining fouls, both in terms of obstruction and with respect to hooking and holding fouls on the puck carrier. A player who does not have body position may not restrain an opponent using his hands, arms or stick, either to gain an advantage or to negate an opponent’s advantage resulting from the opponent’s skill and/or size.

The league has also modified its standard of supplementary discipline on acts where there is deliberate attempt or deliberate injury of an opponent, to include more severe suspensions without pay. An awareness program on violent play and its consequences is also in development for presentation to all AHL players.