The NHL has implemented a handful of mostly minor rule changes for the upcoming season. One of them is new dimensions for the net.
While the opening of the cage will remain four feet by six feet, the depth of the cage itself will be four inches shallower. Presumably, the NHL hopes to increase offense by creating more space behind the cage for offensive players to attempt wraparounds, set up plays from behind net and to create more chances through rebounds off the end boards.
Four inches might not seem significant, it's pretty vivid when you see the old net compared to the newer net.
A practice cage with the old dimension and a newer cage were present at Consol Energy Center yesterday and we were able to take a few photos of each net. Take a gander:
Here is a side profile of the new shallower net:
-Here's its deeper predecessor:
-In addition to the depth, you'll notice the white skirt around the back lower portion of the cage stops near the post and is replaced by a clear plastic skirt:
-That appears to be changed for the sake of video replays in order to show any pucks potentially jammed in near the posts. Another change for the sake of video is the actually netting on top of the cage. The mesh is thinner and would presumably give a clearer look of the puck for overhead cameras:
-Finally, the support bar on the back of the net is thinner as well with the newer nets: