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Several rule changes have impacted the NHL before the new season.

Published September 16, 2023 at 3:22

Like any professional sports league, the NHL continuously upgrades its rules, especially in terms of rule changes. Over the years, some changes have been necessary and beneficial, while others have left players, coaches, and fans scratching their heads, wondering why such moves were needed.

Before the start of this season, the NHL implemented several relatively minor but still important rule changes that are essential to understand as the game continues to evolve. One of these changes mandates the use of helmets during warm-ups for players who joined the league after 2019.

This rule is now officially part of the rule book rather than a mere suggestion. It was a common topic of discussion among general managers, as numerous players were getting injured by errant pucks during warm-ups.

Another notable rule change concerns illegal sticks. The NHL has consolidated all conditions for illegal sticks into one rule, known as Rule 10.8. This rule is crucial to ensure that every player is on a level playing field and will be enforced by the referees if they observe any illegal sticks.

A significant clarification made during this offseason pertains to the coaches' challenge. Specifications have been added to the rule book, stating that if a puck goes out of play and is not noticed by the officials, these plays are eligible for a coaches' challenge, regardless of which team sent the puck into the netting.

Lastly, offsides were also addressed in these changes, and the rule now reads as follows:

"If, during a delayed off-side, an attacking player in the attacking zone chooses to proceed to his players' bench (which extends into the attacking zone) to be replaced by a teammate, he shall be considered to have cleared the zone when both skates are off the ice, and the Linesperson judges him to have left the playing surface."

It remains to be seen whether these rule changes will have a significant impact on the NHL, but it is always prudent to ensure that the rules align with the NHL's vision for the game.
September 16   |   111 answers
Several rule changes have impacted the NHL before the new season.

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