In mid June the NHL board of governors met in Las Vegas and approved a few new rules for the upcoming NHL season which will surely affect the way each game will be played this year.
The biggest change is one that affects how the game will be played if there is a tie game after 60 minutes of play. For roughly 16 years after three period of hockey has been played if a winner was not determined there would be a 5 minute 4 on 4 Sudden Death Overtime period in which the first team to score a goal would be crowned the winner. In 2005-06 the NHL chose to change the Overtime format again by adding a shoot-out after the 5 minute Sudden Death period.
This season changes are afoot once again, while many believe it is time to move on from the Shoot-out which glorifies a single players effort instead of the team concept, the NHL felt that adjusting the 5 minute Overtime would be more affective. So starting this season no longer will there be 5 minutes of 4 on 4 Hockey after regulation, but rather 3 on 3.
Here’s everything spelled out a bit better courtesy of NHL.com.
1. Teams play an additional overtime period of not more than five (5) minutes with the team scoring first declared the winner and being awarded an additional point.
2. The overtime period will be played with each team at 3-on-3 manpower (plus goaltender) for the full five-minute period.
3. Manpowers during overtime will be adjusted to reflect the situation in the game, but at no time will a team have fewer than three (3) skaters on the ice during the overtime period. For example, if a team enters the overtime period on a power play, manpower would be adjusted from 5 on 4 at the end of regulation to 4 on 3 at the start of overtime. If a minor penalty is assessed during overtime, the teams will play 4 on 3. If a second minor penalty is assessed to the same team during overtime, the teams will play 5 on 3.
4. If the game remains tied at the end of the five (5) minute overtime period, the teams will proceed to a three-round shootout. After each team has taken three shots, if the score remains tied, the shootout will proceed to a “sudden death” format.
5. Clubs who pull their goaltender for an extra attacker during the overtime period (other than on a delayed penalty) will be subject to the potential forfeiture of their one (1) point earned for the tie at the end of regulation in the event the opposing team scores into the empty net.
6. At the end of regulation, the entire ice surface will be shoveled and the goalies will change ends. There will be no further ice surface maintenance during the balance of overtime period. Following the overtime period and before the shootout, the ice surface will be shoveled again, and the goalies will change ends.
For those who are against the shoot-out this season should prove to be an interesting one as we should see less Shoot-outs and more games ending in the 5 minute OT than we have seen in the recent past. Just imagine Kessel, Crosby, Letang in a 3 on 3 environment. Should be fun!
The next change is a slight alteration to Video Review of calls on the ice. Take a look at the explanation below courtesy of NHL.com.
Expanded Video Review
This expanded video review is intended to be extremely narrow in scope and the original call on the ice is to be overturned if, and only if, a determination is made by the on-ice Official(s) (in consultation with the Toronto Video Room) that the original call on the ice was not correct. If a review is not conclusive and/or there is any doubt whatsoever as to whether the call on the ice was correct, the on-ice Official(s) will be instructed to confirm their original call.
It’s important that calls are properly handled in the NHL. I can remember too many times where teams have been incorrectly punished or goals incorrectly called “No Goal” because of the poor position of the Referees and linesmen on the ice. And while Expanding the review process is sure to help slightly the next rule change is where things get very interesting.
1. A team may only request a Coach’s Challenge to review the following scenarios:
a) “Off-Side” Play Leading to a Goal. A play that results in a “GOAL” call on the ice where the defending team asserts that the play should have been stopped by reason of an “Off-Side” infraction by the attacking team.
b) Scoring Plays Involving Potential “Interference on the Goalkeeper”
(i) A play that results in a “GOAL” call on the ice where the defending team asserts that the goal should have been disallowed due to “Interference on the Goalkeeper,” as described in Rules 69.1, 69.3 and 69.4; or
(ii) A play that results in a “NO GOAL” call on the ice despite the puck having entered the net, where the on-ice Officials have determined that the attacking team was guilty of “Interference on the Goalkeeper” but where the attacking team asserts: (i) there was no actual contact of any kind initiated by an attacking Player with the goalkeeper; or (ii) the attacking Player was pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending Player causing the attacking Player to come into contact with the goalkeeper; or (iii) the attacking Player’s positioning within the goal crease did not impair the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal and, in fact, had no discernible impact on the play.
2. A team may only request a Coach’s Challenge if they have their time-out available and the Coach’s Challenge must be effectively initiated prior to the resumption of play.
3. If the Coach’s Challenge does not result in the original call on the ice being overturned, the team exercising such challenge will forfeit its time-out.
4. If the Coach’s Challenge does result in the call on the ice being overturned, the team successfully exercising such challenge will retain its time-out.
Absolutely a change that should have been made years ago, seeing the MLB properly implementing the Coach “Manager” challenge a few seasons back was probably a big help in the NHL adopting it as well.
The three changes listed above are what I believe to be the biggest adjustments to the game but below you will see there were a couple other rules that were implemented or changed for the new Hockey season.
League Initiated Review (<< Click link for more on this rule change)
1. In the final minute of play in the 3rd Period and at any point in Overtime (Regular Season and Playoffs), Hockey Operations will initiate the review of any scenario that would otherwise be subject to a Coach’s Challenge.
Rule 76.4, Face-Offs – Paragraph 2
When the face-off takes place at any of the nine face-off spots, the players taking part shall take their position so that they will stand squarely facing their opponent’s end of the rink, and clear of the ice markings (where applicable). The sticks of both players facing-off shall have the blade on the ice, within the designated white area. At the eight face-off spots (excluding center ice face-off spot), the defending player shall place his stick within the designated white area first followed immediately by the attacking player. When the face-off is conducted at the center ice face-off spot, the visiting player shall place his stick on the ice first.
There you have it, the rule changes for the 2015-16 NHL Season. I recommend, as we inch closer to the 2015-16 season, you all check out NHL.com for more in-depth look at the new rules listed above.
Thanks for Reading!
– Robert Slavinsky “LGP!”