Rules Changes ’16

The new rule book pdf has two pages side-by-side, while last year’s has just one page on screen at a time. Tougher to compare. (Or maybe I’m just not technomalogically advanced enough to resolve that.) But here’s our annual best attempt, anyway:

In a few stray places, references to seven-minute overtimes revert to five-minute overtimes. (1.10, 85.4)

9.6: Helmets
Specifies that a player returning to the ice from the bench or the penalty box without a helmet will be assessed a minor for playing bucketless.

10.3: Broken stick
Specifies that a player without a stick may pick up his own unbroken stick or a teammate’s. He’ll receive a penalty if he picks up and plays with an opponent’s stick.

10.7: Illegal stick during the shootout
Cleans up outdated language.

12.1/12.2: Illegal/protective equipment
New section 1 says all protective equipment must be approved by the league’s hockey ops department. Other sections move up one.

19.3: Coincident match penalties
Tweaks language about players serving them.

20.4: Automatic game misconduct
Says that the player won’t be thrown out after three majors or two fights if his opponent in any fight received an instigator penalty. It used to be just the last one.

23.2: Game misconduct fines and suspensions
Hammers in that a request for review of a game misconduct has to be initiated in writing within 24 hours.

27.2: Goalie penalties
If a goalie gets a major and a game misconduct coincidental to a major/match penalty for an opponent, no one has to serve the major for him.

34.3: Game timekeeper/overtime
Overtime begins promptly after the #dryscrape, so no need to set the clock for the one-minute break; the clock will be set to 5:00 immediately.

36.3: Notes that there’s a video review assistant to come in Rule 79.5. AHL FORESHADOWING.

Through the Physical Fouls category, the fines and suspensions sections now refer to Rule 23.6, which talks about such suspensions and fines.

56.8: Interference
Adds a fines and suspensions section.

63.5: Delay of game/penalty shot
The Leggio Rule. A goalie displacing the net to end a breakaway receives a game misconduct. It used to be that the player last in possession of the puck would take the penalty shot; the new version says it can be anybody on the ice.

72.4: Refusing to play the puck/Icing
Changes the language to reflect the relatively new hybrid/no-touch rule. (Though, because things appear in several different places in these rules over the course of generations, it’s unchanged in 82.2.)

76.4: Faceoff procedure
At the center-ice dot, the visiting player still puts his stick down first; everywhere else, it’s the defending centerman. There’s a paragraph in this section about preventing centermen from trying to gain an advantage by rushing to the dot just as the linesman is about to drop the puck; this year’s rule adds that, if he does that after his team committed an icing, he’s not to be kicked out, but he should be warned, just as they do on any other icing faceoff.

79.4: Coach’s Challenge
If a team still has its time out, it can request a video review, albeit only among those limited criteria that the AHL reviews (puck in the net legally, in time, not batted in by a hand or a kick (or a head)). If the referee doesn’t overturn the original call, the coach requesting the challenge loses his time out. If he overturns it, the coach keeps both his time out and the right to challenge.

79.5: Video Review Assistant
Adds reference to this off-ice official, who as you’d expect assists with the video-review system, making sure it’s in working order (yep) and keeping a list of stoppage times.

The three other sections of Rule 79 remain intact (adding references to the Video Review Assistant and the coach’s challenge) but move up to 79.6-79.8.

85.1: Overtime (regular-season)
Five minutes of three-on-three.

85.3: Overtime (regular-season) penalties
Some cleanup and tweaks to reflect three-on-three as the basis.

Michael Fornabaio