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RULES CHANGES | National Hockey League



Published: Sat, July 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



A look at NHL rules changes, effective with the start of the 2005-06 season:

Shootout: Following a scoreless five-minute overtime, three players from each team participate in a shootout. Each team takes three shots. The team with the most goals after those six shots wins. If still tied, the shootout will advance to a sudden death format. If a game is decided by a shootout, the final score will give the winning team one more goal than its opponent, based on the score at the end of overtime.Lines: Two-line passes are now legal as the center red line will be ignored for offsides purposes. The blue lines will be moved closer together to create an additional 4 feet in each of the offensive zones. That reduces the size of the neutral zone to 50 feet from 54 feet. Goal lines will be moved 2 feet, to 11 feet from the end boards. The width of the blue lines and red line was unchanged. The tag-up offsides rule returns, allowing play to continue if offensive players who preceded the puck into the zone return to the blue line and tag it.Goalies: The dimensions of goaltender equipment will be reduced by approximately 11 percent. In addition to a 1-inch reduction (to 11 inches) in the width of leg pads, the blocking glove, upper-body protector, pants and jersey also will be reduced in size. Goalies using oversized equipment will be given a two-game suspension. Their teams will be fined $25,000 and the trainer will be docked $1,000. Goalies may play the puck behind the goal line only in a trapezoid-shaped area defined by lines that begin 6 feet from either goal post and extend diagonally to points 28 feet apart at the end boards.Icing: A team that ices the puck can't make a line change before the ensuing faceoff. Touch icing remains in effect but linesmen will be given more discretion to wave off infractions if they are deemed the result of a long, attempted pass.Instigation penalties: A player who instigates a fight in the final five minutes of a game will receive a game misconduct and an automatic one-game suspension. The length of suspension would double for each additional incident. The player's coach will be fined $10,000, a penalty that would double for each recurrence.Officiating: Zero tolerance on interference, hooking and holding-obstruction. Goalies who play the puck behind the goal line but outside the designated puck-handling area will be called for delay of game. Goaltenders will be penalized for delay of game if they freeze the puck unnecessarily. Any player who shoots the puck directly over the glass in his defending zone will be penalized for delay of game. Previously only goalies were penalized for the infraction.Unsportsmanlike conduct: The league will review and assess fines to players who dive, embellish a fall or a reaction, or who fake injury in an attempt to draw penalties. The first such incident will bring on a warning letter; the second will result in a $1,000 fine; the third will result in a $2,000 fine; and the fourth will result in a one-game suspension. Public complaints or derogatory comments toward the game also will result in fines.Competition committee: Comprised of four NHL players, four general managers and one owner and is supervised by Colin Campbell, NHL director of hockey operations. The players are: Rob Blake of Colorado, Jarome Iginla of Calgary, Trevor Linden of Vancouver and Brendan Shanahan of Detroit. The general managers are: Bob Gainey of Montreal, Kevin Lowe of Edmonton, David Poile of Nashville and Don Waddell of Atlanta. The owner is Ed Snider of Philadelphia. Mike Gartner, the players' association's director of business operations, will provide input to the committee.

Shootout: Following a scoreless five-minute overtime, three players from each team participate in a shootout. Each team takes three shots. The team with the most goals after those six shots wins. If still tied, the shootout will advance to a sudden death format. If a game is decided by a shootout, the final score will give the winning team one more goal than its opponent, based on the score at the end of overtime.Lines: Two-line passes are now legal as the center red line will be ignored for offsides purposes. The blue lines will be moved closer together to create an additional 4 feet in each of the offensive zones. That reduces the size of the neutral zone to 50 feet from 54 feet. Goal lines will be moved 2 feet, to 11 feet from the end boards. The width of the blue lines and red line was unchanged. The tag-up offsides rule returns, allowing play to continue if offensive players who preceded the puck into the zone return to the blue line and tag it.Goalies: The dimensions of goaltender equipment will be reduced by approximately 11 percent. In addition to a 1-inch reduction (to 11 inches) in the width of leg pads, the blocking glove, upper-body protector, pants and jersey also will be reduced in size. Goalies using oversized equipment will be given a two-game suspension. Their teams will be fined $25,000 and the trainer will be docked $1,000. Goalies may play the puck behind the goal line only in a trapezoid-shaped area defined by lines that begin 6 feet from either goal post and extend diagonally to points 28 feet apart at the end boards.Icing: A team that ices the puck can't make a line change before the ensuing faceoff. Touch icing remains in effect but linesmen will be given more discretion to wave off infractions if they are deemed the result of a long, attempted pass.Instigation penalties: A player who instigates a fight in the final five minutes of a game will receive a game misconduct and an automatic one-game suspension. The length of suspension would double for each additional incident. The player's coach will be fined $10,000, a penalty that would double for each recurrence.Officiating: Zero tolerance on interference, hooking and holding-obstruction. Goalies who play the puck behind the goal line but outside the designated puck-handling area will be called for delay of game. Goaltenders will be penalized for delay of game if they freeze the puck unnecessarily. Any player who shoots the puck directly over the glass in his defending zone will be penalized for delay of game. Previously only goalies were penalized for the infraction.Unsportsmanlike conduct: The league will review and assess fines to players who dive, embellish a fall or a reaction, or who fake injury in an attempt to draw penalties. The first such incident will bring on a warning letter; the second will result in a $1,000 fine; the third will result in a $2,000 fine; and the fourth will result in a one-game suspension. Public complaints or derogatory comments toward the game also will result in fines.Competition committee: Comprised of four NHL players, four general managers and one owner and is supervised by Colin Campbell, NHL director of hockey operations. The players are: Rob Blake of Colorado, Jarome Iginla of Calgary, Trevor Linden of Vancouver and Brendan Shanahan of Detroit. The general managers are: Bob Gainey of Montreal, Kevin Lowe of Edmonton, David Poile of Nashville and Don Waddell of Atlanta. The owner is Ed Snider of Philadelphia. Mike Gartner, the players' association's director of business operations, will provide input to the committee.




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