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Friday, 12 September 2014 03:32

NHL Announces Rules Changes for the Upcoming Season

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The NHL announced a list of rules changes for the upcoming 2014-15 season, which was approved earlier this summer by both the League's Board of Governors and the NHLPA.  While some of the changes are minor, others may have a substantial impact on the new season, which begins in less than a month.

·         The goalkeeper's restricted area will be expanded by two feet on each side of the net, increasing from 18 feet to 22 feet.  This will allow the goalie to play more pucks behind the net, but may also cause more giveaways to forecheckers which could lead to easy goals.

·         The overtime period will begin with both teams switching ends, which will allow for line changes to be made on opposite ends of the ice, similar to the long changes during the second period.  This could lead to more games ending in overtime, as there have been more goals scored in the second period than in the first or third periods, where teams are closer to their benches.

·         Following an icing violation, a delay of game warning will be issued when the team who is not allowed to substitute players is attempting to stall.  If the stalling situation occurs again, a two-minute penalty will be awarded.  This could give the offense an advantage, since there will be less time in between icing violations and the subsequent offensive zone faceoff.

·         The league has set up a system of fines for diving and embellishment penalties, docking both the player and their head coach.  The first diving/embellishment incident will garner a warning for the player, with the next incident causing a $2,000 fine.  The third incident would cost the player $3,000, the fourth cost $4,000, and the fifth and subsequent incidents cost $5,000 each.  The first three incidents will not cost the player's head coach anything, with the fourth costing them $2,000, the fifth $3,000, and so on until the coach owes $5,000 for each incident. 

·         The "Spin-O-Rama" move is no longer allowed during both penalty shots and the shootout.

·         A new Game Misconduct category has been created, adding clipping, charging, elbowing, interference, kneeing, head-butting, and butt-ending into the category with boarding and checking from behind that gets a player suspended for a game if they achieve two game misconducts for any of those infractions.

·         Video review has been expanded, with booth review assisting on plays where the on-ice official loses sight of the puck.  Video review will also require more evidence to disallow a goal in which a player kicked the puck into the net.  If there is any question as to whether the kicking was accidental, the goal will be allowed.

·         There are also modifications on tripping, the location of the face-off when pucks travel out of play, and the placement of the hash marks on the ice.

These rule changes represent a clear effort by the league to try to increase scoring without making drastic changes to the game.  They are also trying to take diving and embellishment acts out of the game, similar to the NBA's efforts to remove flopping from their game.  Stalling between icing fouls and the following faceoffs, which is done frequently during the latter portions of games, seems to be another element of the game that the league is looking to eliminate with the new rules.  Hockey fans will get a chance to view these new rules starting on October 8th, when the NHL kicks off its 2014-15 regular season.

Adam Belue

My name is Adam Belue, I'm from Fall River, MA, and I'm a sports fanatic.  I'll watch and write about just about any and every sport, even the fringe ones that aren't really sports like bowling, poker, and ultimate frisbee.  I'm a huge Green Bay Packers fan, and a self-proclaimed New England Patriots hater (and proud of it!)... which makes my job in a sporting goods store quite interesting.  I'm a big fan of the other local teams (Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics), along with the Alabama Crimson Tide and college football as a whole.  I may be a bit obsessed (or a lot obsessed) with Taylor Swift, and I've seen her in concert four times so far... some of the best times I've had by the way her concerts are quite the experience!  I'm also a huge tennis fan, and have played the sport for a good majority of my life.  I wish more people watched and appreciated tennis.  I'm currently a part of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox Beat Team on CLNS Radio, and post a weekly fantasy football and college football column during the season.