Open practice (elsewhere)/Rules changes ’12-13

The Sound Tigers’ first full practice will be open to the public Saturday, at Iceworks in Syosset, N.Y., 10-11:30. The camp roster includes sweater numbers and no tryouts.

Edit: The AHL Hall of Fame class includes Ken Gernander.

Just in time for the first day of winter, the new AHL rule book is online (h/t: Jason Iacona, who offers this alternate link if the first one doesn’t work for you). With the last unencumbered night of vacation, I compiled the annual summary of changes. And as usual, the biggest changes are the ones in spacing and formatting. Really tough to go alt-tab on these things, so went side-by-side. May have missed some small details. Hope not. (Obviously that spacing and formatting, along with actual rule changes, affects page references within the text as well, and we’ll skip most of those.)

Cover: Woooo fancy-dan logo and drop shadow. That “American Hockey League” is just bursting out of the margin. I bet in cardboard it’s embossed. Anyone wanna slip me a hard copy of this book? No? OK.

1.10: New: “Ice Cleaning.” Each commercial time out, the crew is supposed to clear snow from the creases, from the front of the benches, and “ideally the entire end zone from the blue lines in.” They’ll do that before regular-season overtime as well, and in the playoffs at the first whistle after 10 minutes of overtime (even after an icing or while a team is on a power play). It also says that, before the shootout, the machines “shall make four passes (two by each machine) and clean between 22 and 24 feet of the center of the ice surface.”

2.2: Codifies the netting on the top of the goal and how it should be attached to the frame.

15.5, 16.1, 18.1: Fixes the font on the bold text, unless my ’11-12 .pdf just displayed funny. Nice.

24.4: Adds referee’s discretion when a goalie dislodges the net accidentally while attempting to make a save on a penalty shot. The ref can award a goal if he feels the puck would have gone in legally if the net were in place. He can also allow the shot to be taken over again if he can’t tell if it would’ve gone in.

25.4: Corrects a rule-number reference; this may be vestigial from a previous update.

32.5(v): A linesman can stop play if he sees a centerman try to win a draw by batting it with his hand. (See Rule 76.4.)

41.6: When a boarding major and game misconduct is assessed for a check that results in a head or face injury, there’s an automatic $200 fine.

42.6: When a charging major and game misconduct is assessed for a check that results in a head or face injury, there’s an automatic $200 fine. A mere major remains $100.

43.6: A check-from-behind major/game misconduct carries an automatic $200 fine.

45.6: An elbowing major and game misconduct for a hit resulting in a head or face injury carries a $200 fine. A regular major remains $100.

47.8: A head-butting major/game misconduct carries — sing along — an automatic $200 fine.

50.6: Kneeing. Major/game misconduct. $200.

55.7: A hooking major/game misconduct combo now costs $200 instead of $100.

61.8: Slashing major/game misconduct for $200, Alex.

62.6: Spearing major/game misconduct: $200. We’re done.

63.2: The infamous third paragraph — delay of game, puck over glass — now specifies that a player is considered inside his defensive zone when he has both skates inside that zone.

67.2: The Del Zotto Rule: Placing a hand on the puck to conceal it or prevent an opponent from playing it will result in a delay-of-game minor, or a penalty shot if done in the crease.

70.10: Adds the word “illegally” throughout when referring to players leaving the bench during or for the purpose of starting an altercation.

76.4: The centermen are not allowed to use their hands to bat the puck on faceoffs, under penalty of a delay-of-game minor. At least one other player must touch the puck legally before they can use their hands.

Rule 79: Adds video review, at the referee’s sole discretion (and, if he chooses replay, he won’t consult with the goal judge) and reviewed by him at the scorer’s table. It appears to run similarly to the way it ran here last year in experimental version. The play must be reviewed at or before the next stoppage. After the ensuing faceoff, no review is allowed. It must “conclusively” show the puck completely across the line. Only one goal can be awarded at any stoppage, so if review shows that Team A scored earlier and then Team B scores, only Team A’s goal counts. But, if replay shows that Team A put a puck in the net illegally and then Team B scores, nobody gets a goal (because the whistle should’ve blown for the illegal goal). The clock will be reset to the time when, replay shows, the puck went into the net.

There is one feature that wasn’t in place last year: Referees can look to see if a puck was kicked or batted in. (They’ll only have the view directly over the net, though; in fact, while the play is being reviewed, there are supposed to be no other replays shown “on the arena video screen or on any other public video monitor.”)

The other criteria are simpler and as they were last year here: Puck actually in the net, puck in before time expired, puck in before the net was dislodged, puck in from the wrong side (through the mesh or under the goal frame).

Adding this rule at 79 pushes the remaining rules one number higher. (Formerly 87th and last, for instance, “Time-outs” is now 88.)

82.1 (formerly 81.1): The new no-touch icing rule, in which the linesman first determines that the puck will cross the goal line, then determines who would touch it first. We’re told that decision will become final, as was announced back in June, when the first player reaches the faceoff dots, though it’s not to be construed as a “race to the dots”; the first player who would touch it is most important.

There’s no reference in the book to its being an experiment, but it is; the league will decide whether to continue it beyond Nov. 19.

82.5 (formerly 81.5): You know the “two-line pass” rule in icing that came into being after the (last) lockout? If there’s a pass from the defensive half across the red line that goes awry, the linesman can wave off icing? In addition, now, to the puck’s being within reach and on the ice, the player who would be receiving that pass has to make “a legitimate effort to play the puck,” or icing will still be in effect.

84.4 (formerly 83.4): Guess we’ll call this the Mike Kostka Rule (or Mike Kostka Clarification, more precisely, because it doesn’t really change anything): Clarifies that, if the puck is shot “into the attacking zone creating” (rather than “on goal during”) a delayed offside, then goes into the net, whether directly or off anything (including “the boards, the glass, a piece of equipment”), the goal will not be allowed. (A later reference in the same rule to “the puck being shot on goal” is changed to “the puck entering the goal” as well.)

Michael Fornabaio