Thursday, September 11, 2014

NHL Releases Rules Changes for 2014-15 Season

The National Hockey League released its rules changes for the 2014-15 NHL season. Notable modifications amongst Thursday's announcement include an expanded trapezoid, diving/embellishment fines and changes to overtime/shootout procedures.

Rule 1.8: The goalkeeper's restricted area has been expanded by two feet from the goal post on both sides of the net, which is the first significant change to the trapezoid since its introduction in 2005. The trapezoid was first introduced to give the attacking team a better chance of gaining puck control behind the goal line.

Rule 1.9: Hash marks at end zone circles will be expanded from three to five feet, seven inches apart in order to mirror the international rink dimension. This is a pre-season test and must be approved prior to the the regular season.

Rule 23: The league created a new Game Misconduct category while clipping, charging, elbowing, interference, kneeing, head-butting and butt-ending move from the General category into Physical Fouls with boarding and checking from behind. This allows for the automatic suspension of a player who incurs two game misconducts of this type (e.g., a charging game misconduct followed by a boarding game misconduct will, in 2015, result in a suspension).

Rule 24: The 'Spin-O-Rama' penalty shot move will be illegal in penalty shots and shootout situations as the puck's forward momentum and/or player control of the disc has ceased.

Rule 38: The video review process will now allow Hockey Operations to review a wider variety of issues relating to potential goals, including the referee's "out of sight" whistle or intent to blow. "Distinct kicking motion" will also require a higher threshold of evidence in order to overrule a call of good goal.

Rule 57: Tripping will encompass defender diving as a two-minute minor, regardless of the defender's ability to make contact with the puck, though first touch will negate the penalty shot call (2 PIM instead).

Rule 64: Diving and embellishment will now result in a fine issued to the player and to the head coach of the team whose player has incurred such a penalty. Similar in theory to the NBA model, the NHL will, like professional basketball, issue a warning on the first offence before fining the player incrementally for violating Rule 64. The player fine will be $2,000 on the second violation, $3k on the third, $4k on the fourth and $5k thereafter while the head coach will incur a $2,000 fine on the player's fourth violation, $3k on the fifth, $4k on the sixth and $5k thereafter.

Rule 76: Face-off violations by the defensive team following an icing (e.g., delay of game to account for the inability to substitute following an icing call) will still result in a warning for the first offence but the offending player will be required to remain within the circle to take the face-off. Subsequent violation will result in a two-minute minor bench penalty.

Rule 84: Teams will switch ends prior to the start of regular season overtime (which means teams will have the long change [benches opposite defensive zone] in OT, possibly leading to more breakaways), the ice will undergo a dry scrape and the head coach will no longer be required to submit his three shooters list in the shoot-out.

Rule 85: Wherein a face-off results after the puck goes out of bounds, the face-off will remain in the attacking zone when the whistle is blown for reasons of: shot breaks the glass, shot deflects off the net/post and out of play, shot deflects off the boards or glass and out of play, shot is tipped or deflected out of play by a teammate, and the shot becomes wedged in the goal netting.


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