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NHL changes rules on offside challenges, timeouts: Friedman

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The league is making adjustments.

2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic - Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs

As per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the NHL has approved rule changes for 2017-18 designed to speed up the game and increase offence.

The first, and probably most significant: if a team challenges a goal for an offside and is unsuccessful, they’ll be hit with a two-minute penalty. As Friedman notes, this raises the stakes considerably on an offside review, and may discourage coaches from challenging goals just hoping they get lucky. The offside review has generally been unpopular, so hopefully this reduces it to only the clearest of cases. This rule change does not apply to challenges for goalie interference, which is a rule no one actually understands anyway.

We believe the two-minute penalty replaces the loss of timeout (the previous cost for failing an offside challenge), based on language from when the rule was proposed. We will update when we know more.

Exactly one third of offside reviews in the regular season were successful last year, as per NHL documents c/o Dave Stubbs:

A 33% chance of canceling out a goal is still significant, but it remains to be seen how precisely each coach’s decision-making changes. The Leafs challenged goals less than most of their Atlantic Division brethren, as you can see. Here’s one challenge that didn’t work out for us, if you’ve forgotten how they go:

Another rule change: teams will no longer be able to call a timeout after icing the puck. This is intended to discourage icings even further, as teams will no longer be able to get any kind of rest from icing. Of course, savvy coaches like Mike Babcock have been known to stretch out delays in this situation.

A final rule, as per Friedman: teams whistled for high-sticking the puck on the powerplay will take the faceoff in the neutral zone, rather than their own zone. This seems a small change, but it keeps with the general tenor of the changes: more of a skew towards offensive opportunities.

What do you think? Are these rule changes good?

Poll

What do you think of the rule changes?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    They’re good!
    (486 votes)
  • 12%
    The offside review penalty is good, but the icing/timeout rule is bad.
    (86 votes)
  • 6%
    The offside review penalty is bad, but the icing/timeout rule is good.
    (47 votes)
  • 13%
    They’re terrible and the NHL is terrible and I hate it.
    (95 votes)
714 votes total Vote Now