By: Andrew Utz ~Guest Writer~
The National Hockey League (NHL) approved various rule changes for the coming 2014-15 season.
These changes include expanding the trapezoid behind the goalkeeper’s net two feet on both sides. This increases the area in which the goalie can handle the puck behind the net.
Another change to the rink layout is the increased width of the hash marks around the face-off circles, to match the measurements used in international hockey.
In dealing with face-offs, defensive teams will not be able to waste time before the play.
A warning will be called for the first offense and a minor penalty for a second offense.
Additionally, physical penalties, such as charging, elbowing or interference, are to be reclassified into the “Physical Fouls” category. The punishment for making two of these penalties will result in a single game suspension.
As the National Basketball Association did in the 2012-13 season, the NHL will begin fining players who dive or embellish fouls.
Both players and coaches will be fined if enough incidents are recorded.
The tripping penalty has also been revised for cases in which a defending player dives or trips the attacking player.
Regardless of whether the puck was the first initial contact made by the defender, a two-minute penalty will be given.
In the past, a penalty shot would have been given for tripping. The new rule now states that if the defender touches the puck before the trip, no penalty shot will be awarded, and the two minute penalty on the defender will stand.
In order to aid the referees, the goal judge will be given more situations for video review of a “goal” or “no goal” call.
This is mostly to guide the referee as it is sometimes difficult to keep track of the quickly moving puck.
A change to penalty shots has also occurred. The “spin-o-rama” move, where the penalty taker makes a 360-degree spin in front of the goal, has been eliminated in all cases.
Also, in shootouts, the head coach no longer has to submit a list of the first three players that are taking the penalty shots. These new rules will be implented immediately in the 2014-15 season