NHL Rule Amendments: The Guilty Parties Who Caused Them


Rule changes are fun. They make the game different each year, so you can tell which fans have really been around for a while (I’m kidding). They say to players like Marc Savard and Rusty Klesla that “we honor your career, and will try to prevent other careers from ending accordingly”… and, of course, they mostly just keep the game up-to-date.

This year, the league has added/amended ten rules. Just for fun, I’ve taken a couple from the Offical NHL Website, broken them down, and taken my own stab at who I think caused them. All opinions are my own, and probably incorrect.

First Rule Change: Goalies Get Bigger Trapezoid

May 13, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) makes a save against New York Rangers center Dominic Moore (28) during the third period in game seven of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers won the game 2-1 and took the series 4 games to 3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Amended Rule: 1.8 (Goalkeeper’s Restricted Area)

“The trapezoid will be expanded by two feet from the goal post on both sides of the net.”

Explanation: Not entirely sure what the point of this is, beyond serving as an equalizer for superhumans like Martin Brodeur once was. The trapezoid is a relatively new addition to the league rules- according to the original rule, the trapezoid limits the area on the ice in which the goaltender is allowed to play the puck. If the goaltender tries to play the puck outside of this trapezoid, a two-minute delay of game penalty is called. The only time this doesn’t happen is when the goaltender plays the puck outside of the trapezoid while his skate remains in his crease. So basically, they’ve made the limited space in which a goaltender can actually play just a little bit bigger. Oh, THANK YOU, Bettman. 

Amendment Most Likely Caused by: Mario Lemieux writing a letter of complaint to the league that his overzealous starting goaltender doesn’t have enough room to express his netminding creativity.

Second Rule Change: Amended Misconduct Penalties

Amended Rule: 23 (Game Misconduct Penalties)

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  • “A new Game Misconduct Category will be created. Clipping, charging, elbowing, interference, kneeing, head-butting and butt-ending move from the general category into the same category as boarding and checking from behind (“Physical Fouls”), whereby a player who incurs two such game misconducts in this category would now automatically be suspended for one game.”

    Explanation: This one is fairly straightforward. In the most basic terms, all the dirty play that had been previously slipping under the radar has now been addressed.

    Amendment Most Likely Caused By: The 2014 playoffs. If you need an explanation as to why I’m saying this, just watch the 2014 playoffs.

    Third Rule Change: Embellishment

    Amended Rule: 64 (Diving/Embellishment)

    “The supplementary discipline penalties associated with Rule 64.3 (Diving/Embellishment) will be revised to bring attention to and more seriously penalize players (and teams) who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties. Fines will be assessed to players and head coaches on a graduated scale…”

    Explanation: Well, finally, an attempt by the league to wade through the bullpoo. The first diving/embellishment call is a warning, second will draw a $2,000 fine, and- by your eighth call- both the coach and the player are fined $5,000 apiece.

    Incident #
    Player Fine(s)
    Head Coach Fine(s)


    Amendment Most Likely Caused By: It was recently brought to my attention that Sidney Crosby has never been called for diving, so I legitimately can’t pin this one on him. Shame, really.

    In his stead, though, I’ll just leave this right here.

    For a full list of the amendments and changes, check it out on the Official NHL Website.