Friday, July 22, 2005

Announced rule changes

No more ties
- 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 the score remains tied, the shootout will proceed 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.
Two-line passes
- Two-line passes will now be legal. The centre-red line will be ignored for off-side purposes.
- The "tag-up" off-side rule returns, allowing play to continue if offensive players who preceded the puck into the zone return to the blue-line and "tag" it.
Restrictions on goalies
- The dimensions of goaltender equipment will be reduced by approximately 11 per cent. In addition to a one-inch reduction (to 11 inches) in the width of legpads, the blocking glove, upper-body protector, pants and jersey also will be reduced in size.
- Penalties for goalies using oversizing equipment are: a two-game suspension, $25,000 fine for the team and trainer gets fined $1,000.
- Goalies may play the puck behind the goal-line only in a trapezoid-shaped area defined by lines that begin six feet from either goal post and extend diagonally to points 28 feet apart at the end boards.
Bigger Offensive Zone
- The blue-lines will be moved closer together to create an additional four feet in each of the offensive zones. That reduces the size of the neutral zone to 50 feet from 54 feet.
- The goal-lines will be moved two feet, to 11 feet from the end boards.
- The width of blue-lines and centre-red line remains unchanged.
Changes to icing
- A team that ices the puck cannot make a line change prior to the ensuing face-off.
- Touch remains in effect but linesmen will be given more discretion to wave off icing infractions if they are deemed the result of an attempted pass.
Changes to instigator rule
- 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.
- In addition, the player's coach will be fined $10,000 US, a fine that would double for each such incident.
Areas of emphasis for officials
- 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 penalized for delay of game.
- Goaltenders will be penalized for delaying the 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.
Unsportsmanlike conduct
- The league will review and assess fines to players who dive, embellish a fall or a reaction, or who feign injury in an attempt to draw penalties.
- The first such incident will result in a warning letter; the second will result in a $1,000 fine; the third will result in a $2,000 fine; and the fourth incident will result in a one-game suspension.
- Public complaints or derogatory comments toward the game also will result in fines.
Competition Committee
- Is comprised of four NHL players, four general managers and one owner and is supervised by Colin Campbell, NHL executive vice-president and 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 GMs 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 NHLPA's director of business operations, will provide input to the committee.

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