Changes to coaches challenge among numerous proposed rule changes discussed at NHL GM meetings

Photo credit:© Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
29 days ago
The GM meetings are currently ongoing in Florida and this year’s edition sees a few intriguing new rules being proposed that could soon get into effect.
The most notable ones have to do with coaches challenges, more specifically regarding puck over the glass and high-sticking infractions:
This will certainly help ensure incorrect calls on both of these fronts, especially given the numerous occasions that a high sticking penalty was called when the replay showed the player was hit by his stick or by a teammate. Getting things called correctly is never a bad thing and creating more ways to ensure more things don’t slip through the cracks helps out a ton.
On the flip side, this will almost certainly slow the pace of the game down even more than it already has been. Adding more infractions worthy of a video review does nothing to help mend the complaints that fans have of the offside challenge which has increased in volume over the past few years. Having said that, I would imagine the punishment being a 5-on-3 is a worthy enough compromise for the fan’s inconvenience.
One alteration to the rule book that could soon be in effect is goalies will now be penalized for intentionally dislodging the net. Some may view it as the “Matt Murray rule” given he came under a lot of controversy during the 2022-23 season for numerous plays where the hockey world debated whether or not he purposefully took the net off its moorings to stop the clock.
The non-offending team will now get to choose the location of faceoffs after a goalie removes his mask and if a player refuses to play the puck after a high-stick/hand pass. This will help further dissuade players from these acts as the prospect of the opposing team getting to choose where to take the draw in the offensive zone is too daunting.
On the subject of faceoffs, another change being implemented is in scenarios after icings where the offensive team will now get warnings for a violation instead of just getting tossed out right away. This is being done to close a loophole that gives teams that iced the puck an unfair advantage since the current rules give them a chance to catch their break for a few extra seconds.
A minor change being considered is moving the start times of the morning skates for both teams back 15 minutes to allow the players more time to rest up in accordance with the start time of the game. You can also expect to see referees be more enforcive with situations where a player’s leg is over the bench and in play while not on the ice. Now they will issue a warning for the first infraction and call a penalty if it happens again.
Perhaps the most notable thing to come out of the GM meetings is a rule that won’t be altered as it appears the rules for 3-on-3 overtime will remain intact for now. There were talks to have OTs in the regular season extended to seven minutes long just like how the ECHL currently uses it but this idea never gained momentum and the decision has been made to leave it be.
There will no doubt be plenty of fans frustrated at this news given how much of a letdown a game becomes once it has to be decided by a shootout. Anything that does not guarantee a lower chance of it happening is not going to be received well which means we will continue to be annoyed at the current status of overtime rules until the league finally makes some adjustments. At the very least, it was being discussed even if it did not amount to anything substantial.
In all, there were quite a lot of new rules being proposed that are bound to impact the league both big and small going forward. Who knows what else will be tinkered with in the days ahead!

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