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Several minor rule recommendations emerge from NHL GM meetings

NHL Official NHL Official

With their annual meetings wrapping up in Florida, the National Hockey League’s general managers have put forth several minor rule changes and suggestions for consideration for the 2024-25 season.

All of these recommendations must go through the NHL’s competition committee and then the league’s Board of Governors for final approval before being made official.

The overview of their discussions and recommendations – provided to TSN after the GM meetings – is as follows:

Delay of Game - Puck out of Play (Coach’s Challenge)

The GMs agree to use the Coach’s Challenge to take down a penalty for a puck out of play. They also agree that the Coach’s Challenge would only apply to delay of game penalties when the puck is deflected off a player, a stick or the boards and not on a judgement call on how the puck left the defensive zone (such as batted pucks).

Player Discipline

In an effort to show how the Department of Player Safety makes decisions, the league’s general managers are encouraged to visit the NHL Player Safety Room during the season as they do for the NHL Situation Room.

Line Change After Net Dislodged (Rule Change)

The GMs suggest an adjustment to Rule 63.8 so that the offending team cannot make a line change regardless of which player (existing term in the rulebook is ‘skater’) accidentally dislodged the net.

Fairness on Faceoffs (Rule Change)

The GMs propose that, following an icing, the offensive centre should get a warning as well before being tossed from a draw.

Emergency Goaltender

The league will work on developing potential improved framework for addressing goalie emergencies. Any change in the existing rules would need to be bargained with the NHL Players’ Association.

Goalie Warmup

The GMs agree that in situations where a concussion spotter directs a mandatory removal of a goaltender, the replacement should be given a 45-to-60 second warm-up.

Refusal to Play Puck

The GMs agree to move the faceoff to the neutral zone (as opposed to the zone in which the whistle is blown).

Player Sitting On the Boards

The GMs agree that a linesman should advise the referee of a player violation during a stoppage of play. The referee will then provide the offending team (the coach and the players) with a warning and then will advise the other bench. After one warning, the team precipitating the warning will be issued a bench minor penalty on the next infraction.

Coach’s Challenge For High-Sticking Minor Penalty (rule change)

The GMs agree that teams should have the ability to fix a minor penalty for high-sticking through a Coach’s Challenge but only when a player is struck by a teammate’s stick, the puck, or his own stick.

Major Penalties for Boarding

The GMs agree that current interpretation (a major and a game misconduct when there’s a visible head injury) be maintained.

Goalie Mask Stoppages

The GMs agree there should be no line change, faceoff in the defensive zone and select which side.

Reverse Hits

The GMs agree that the standard is fine where it is now.

Possession And Control On An Offside

The GMs agree that the current interpretation be maintained.

Video Review: High-Sticked Pucks

The GMs agree that these goals are being judged correctly and the status quo should be maintained.