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NHL explains new rules for the upcoming season

september 17, 2019
With just a little over two weeks to go before the start of the regular season, the NHL has released a video explaining new rules, or rule changes, that players, coaches, refs and fans will need to get used to in 2019-2020. The league says the changes will expand the role of video review, enhance player safety initiatives and promote more offense and flow of the game.

To start, referees will now use video to review any and all major and match penalties, excluding those that involve fighting. After reviewing the play, the refs will have the opportunity to reduce the call to a minor penalty, or keep the initial call in place. That said, the penalty cannot be called off entirely. Referees will also have the option to review any double minors called for high-sticking. In this case, the penalty can be rescinded if it's determined through review that the high-stick came from a teammate. The double-minor can't be reduced to a minor under any circumstances. Video review will not be used to add a penalty that was not called during play and will never be used to increase a penalty.

The coach's challenge review is being expanded. In addition to goalie interference and offsides, coaches can now ask for a video review if they feel a play in the offensive zone should have led to a stoppage before the goal was scored. This includes pucks that have hit the spectator netting, hand passes (remember when San Jose beat St. Louis in overtime in last year's playoffs after a blatant hand pass that should have been called?) or pucks that have been hit with a high-stick, as long as one of these takes place in the offensive zone. The consequences for unsuccessful challenges across all three categories will now be the same. For a first offense, the team gets a minor penalty for delay of game, and a double minor for the second unsuccessful challenge. Teams may challenge as many plays as they choose.

Players whose helmets come off during play must now exit the ice or retrieve and replace their helmet within a "reasonable period of time" or face a minor penalty. What is considered reasonable is at the discretion of the on-ice officials. If a player's helmet comes off while he's involved in a play with the puck, the official may allow the player to complete the play before leaving the ice or getting his helmet back. Intentionally removing an opponent's helmet during play is an automatic minor penalty for roughing.

When players in the attacking zone cause the puck to leave play, the ensuing faceoff will now stay in the attacking zone. This is brand new for 2019-2020. This only used to happen when the puck was shot directly at the net.

Defensive teams will no longer be allowed a line change when the puck is shot from the centre red line, or behind, and their goalie freezes play. There will also be no line change for the defensive team when the actions of one of their players unintentionally causes the net to become dislodged. This does not include a goalie unintentionally causing the net to come off its moorings. When the net is intentionally dislodged by a defensive team, this remains a penalty, as it has been in the past. In addition to not being able to change lines in these situations, defensive teams will also not be permitted a timeout and no commercial timeouts will take place.

The final changes pertain to where the faceoff takes place in certain situations. Now, the offensive team can choose which end zone dot they'd like the faceoff to take place in following an icing, a goalie freeze on a shot from outside the red line, when a defensive skater unintentionally dislodges the net, and on the first faceoff to start a powerplay.

Are you in favour of all, or most, of these rule changes?
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