Welcome again to Rules Court. Please rise, courtroom is in session.

If you’re new to Rules Court, the idea is easy. You, the readers, submit your concepts for modifications to the NHL rulebook. They could be new guidelines, tweaks to outdated ones, or the elimination of one thing that’s already there. On the ice or off. Small, massive, or massively game-changing. You make your greatest case, after which a three-judge panel of Ian Mendes, Sean Gentille and I make our ruling. Convince a minimum of two of us, and your new rule is handed and the NHL is legally certain to undertake it. (Our legal professionals are nonetheless engaged on that half, because the league is being bizarre about returning our calls.)

Previous classes of guidelines courtroom have seen us undertake extended overtime if a team is shorthanded, replace the shootout with two-on-ones, and adopt a half-court rule. And but the options maintain pouring in, sending a transparent sign that our readers have a ton of nice concepts for enhancing the league.

Let’s see what you’ve for us this time …


The method the present system for factors within the standings is about up doesn’t make sense from a equity perspective or a mathematical perspective.  Instead of two factors for some video games and three factors for others, factors must be arrange as follows:

– Outright win in regulation: three factors

– Shootout/time beyond regulation win: two factors

– Shootout/time beyond regulation loss: one level

– Outright loss: zero factors

In addition to giving out three factors for each sport, it rewards a win in regulation (actual, non three-on-three hockey).  It offers everybody a minimum of one level for attending to time beyond regulation, and rewards the staff that wins in time beyond regulation/the shootout/the two-on-one factor you permitted final time. — Chuck F. (and plenty of others)

McIndoe: Yep. I’ve been crusading in opposition to the present level system for nearly a decade. There’s actually no defending how we do issues now. The loser level is terrible — it screws up the standings, inflates everybody’s report, makes the NHL the laughingstock of different leagues, and (worst of all) incentivizes boring play late in tie video games, which is when the drama must be at its highest.

So sure, let’s change to 3-2-1-0. Is it excellent? No. It’s nonetheless giving out a loser level, for instance, and breaks with the standard two factors for a win the league has had for a century. I do know some folks would like to only go to wins and losses, or carry again ties, or a dozen different attainable plans. But that’s the issue with how we do issues now: It’s so unhealthy that actually any various can be higher, so we get paralyzed by all of the choices. We want to only decide one thing and go along with that, as a result of actually anything will likely be a large enchancment. The 3-2-1-0 system works, so I’m on board. YES.

Gentille: Huh. Not a lot so as to add right here. Pick one thing else. Doesn’t matter what. I’ll say, although — on the record of issues that make the NHL the laughingstock of different professional leagues, the loser level is method, method low. But yeah, I’m within the McIndoe “any alternative would be better” camp, and I’ve been there for some time. YES.

Mendes: I imply the one situation right here is that it messes with the report ebook and historical past of the sport. So we may very well be a staff that at some point racks up 180 factors in a season. But messing with the historical past ebook isn’t sufficient of a deterrent for me. Besides, as soon as they launched the “loser point” it form of skewed the standings and historic information anyway. So I really like the thought of a three-point sport as a result of we have to actually begin incentivizing regulation wins versus shootout/time beyond regulation victories. YES


Teams are allowed to go over the cap, however for every million over the cap they’ve some extent deduction. So you’ll be able to have a staff construct a monster roster however for every million over the cap they lose some extent. Imagine a staff goes $20 million over the cap, begin on -20 and simply sneak into the playoffs because the second wild card however then steamroll everybody to win the Cup. I’m positive everybody want to see that! — Adam M.

McIndoe: This one is tempting, if solely as a result of it will be enjoyable to open the standings on opening night time and see that the Golden Knights and Lightning have been already 30 factors out of the playoffs. I’m very a lot in favor of softening the cap, and I really like the creativity right here, however I don’t suppose that is it. NO.

Gentille: One of the challenges now we have right here on Rule Court™ is discovering the candy spot between hidebound traditionalist and pure chaos. I feel this one, humorous because it’d be, is simply too far afield. I’m on board with different cap-softening stuff (buying and selling house must be authorized, not simply retaining a part of a participant wage) however yeah, that is an excessive amount of. I can’t signal on with explicitly penalizing gamers for possession selections. NO.

Mendes: Huge marks to Adam for creativity on this one. I really like any concept that promotes flexibility in a hard-cap world. But I feel I’m with Gentille on this one. I feel we should always permit buying and selling cap house between groups. Because Arizona is sitting there with tens of tens of millions of unused cap house, whereas groups like Washington, Vegas and Tampa might desperately use that cash. But instantly tying it to the standings is simply too gimmicky. And how would you even maintain observe of that within the standings? We have too many columns as it’s. NO


Hand passes above the ice must be authorized. Puck flying by means of the air and also you bat it to a teammate … why not?  Don’t need to see fingers alongside the ice getting whacked at, however I feel steering a puck within the air to a teammate with out closing your hand on it’s somewhat skillful. Let them do it. — Scott M.

McIndoe: I really feel like everybody can be on board with this proper up till the primary man principally reverse-dribbled the puck up the ice after which swatted it to a teammate 50 toes away, at which level folks would freak out. Wait, is {that a} motive to vote in favor or opposed? I’m not truly positive.

As for Scott’s key query of “why not?” the perfect I can provide you with is that the road between a closed hand and a authorized bat is likely to be thinner than we expect, and it will result in a bunch of arguments over simply how closed is simply too closed. Unintended penalties, and all that. Is {that a} adequate motive to not do it? Maybe, though I may very well be satisfied. For now, a really slim NO.

Gentille: The hand move rule must be tweaked in a technique or one other. The method it’s written, with a clause that enables for the “opinion of the referee” to issue into the choice on a rule that in any other case appears cut-and-dry, already makes for some nonsense. Now, so far as Scott’s proposal is anxious … I’m a sure. I struggled with this one, as a result of passing it hinges on the idea that officiating crews can distinguish between a authorized bat and a closed-hand move. Famous final phrases, however I feel they’d usually be capable to handle. “Reward skill” is a rule of thumb for me, and like Scott mentioned, with the ability to pull one thing like that off would qualify. It’s price a shot. YES.

Mendes: Let me play tiebreaker right here. I feel it’s ridiculous you’re at the moment allowed to make a hand move the defensive zone, however not the offensive one. It defies logic and motive. Imagine the absurdity of permitting soccer gamers to make use of their fingers to play the ball solely whereas defending their half of the sphere. Now, I really like Scott’s concept as a result of I feel it will add one other dimension of talent to the sport. You most likely wouldn’t see it that usually, but when a participant can legally redirect the puck together with his glove — with out closing his hand on it — he must be rewarded for that talent. I don’t suppose we’ll have too a lot of a lot of these performs both. Loads of this must be reactionary, last-second hand passes. It would take some severe hand-eye coordination to drag this off.  We must be selling talent at each flip with out turning this right into a sideshow. I feel Scott’s proposal accomplishes that aim. YES


Instead of being allowed to pick their greatest shooters for each shootout, every staff should submit a lineup initially of the season that comprises everybody on their NHL roster, goalies included. It could be in no matter order they need, and new callups or in-season acquisitions go on the finish of the lineup. If a participant isn’t within the lineup on the night time his flip comes up, he will get skipped.

If you go to a shootout on a given night time, your first shooter is whoever was “on deck” when the final shootout ended. So if shooter No. 8 was the final one to shoot within the final shootout, your order for the night time begins at No. 9 and goes from there. These lists should be public.

This concept, in concept, would pressure groups, who’ve in any other case proven that they solely actually belief 5 or 6 gamers to take shootout makes an attempt, to weigh the chance of the shooters they’ve arising within the order on a given night time with the ability to win a shootout, and pressure groups to push tougher in time beyond regulation to attempt to keep away from it in the event that they’ve received two backside of the lineup gamers and a goalie arising.

This is certainly foolish, however extra unpredictability and gamers put in uncomfortable positions would make the shootout extra watchable. — Aidan N.

McIndoe: This one feels prefer it was dreamed up in a Team Chaos lab, which is usually a superb factor. I form of like the thought of turning the shootout right into a team-wide factor, somewhat than simply the specialised area of some gamers. I additionally like giving the league’s head coaches one other vital resolution that they might screw up and get criticized for, as a result of as we’ve beforehand established, I hate coaches and wish them to be unhappy.

One drawback: Aidan’s proper that groups would possibly go for it extra in time beyond regulation in the event that they knew they’d an unfavorable shootout matchup, however the reverse is also true. If you understand you’ve received just a few snipers within the queue and the opposite staff is all the way down to their defensive defensemen, would you simply attempt to kill the clock in time beyond regulation? That can be fairly terrible to observe. But this concept is so ridiculous and unworkable that I’m unsure I can resist it. Screw it, put me down for a YES.

Mendes: I really like the zaniness of Aidan’s concept. But it’s most likely not that far off from the idea of letting your opponent choose your shootout contributors. If we discuss rewarding talent and eager to see the perfect gamers thrive, I’d hate to be at a Ducks sport and know that I’ve zero likelihood of seeing Trevor Zegras doing one thing dazzling in a shootout as a result of he went final night time. (Checks public shootout record to see … Nathan Beaulieu is up first tonight.) If we’re going to maintain the ridiculous gimmick of the shootout within the sport, I need to see essentially the most proficient gamers each time. Those Marek Malik moments are enjoyable as a result of they occur like as soon as each 15 years. NO.

Gentille: “These lists must be public” and “this is definitely silly” have been the 2 chortle traces for me. Aidan … thanks. First factor, although, we gotta nix the goalies. Much as I’d get pleasure from watching, like, Matt Murray attempt to rating a full-pads shootout aim, it’s a bridge too far. If it’s skaters solely? Rather less “definitely silly.” And it may not be foolish in any respect. What’s sillier than deciding video games with a shootout? The solely motive folks suppose that act isn’t foolish is as a result of we’ve arbitrarily assigned it that means. One of the few issues now we have in life is the facility to decide on what’s vital — and I imagine that to be spare forwards getting shootout alternatives. YES


In the uncommon occasion that in a delayed penalty name the referee decides to name a further penalty on the offending staff, they need to stick their different arm up too, skating round like they’re signaling a superb area aim try. — Adam C.

McIndoe: I’m virtually afraid to ask, however what occurs if there’s a 3rd penalty?

But significantly, I’ve by no means been extra in favor of one in all these concepts. I’m smashing the sure button on this one. If this isn’t a unanimous decide then that is the final guidelines courtroom as a result of I give up. YES.

Mendes: If you don’t like this concept, you’re positively a narc. (Or you’re employed within the league workplace.) YES.

Gentille: Third penalty? You guessed it — they gotta wave their arms round like a automobile dealership balloon man. YES. 


Former NFL ref Ed Hochuli. (Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images)

The penalty shot rather than a penalty is mindless. You are principally giving the participant again the benefit he initially had. There isn’t any penalty for the offender. The proposal is {that a} participant is given the penalty shot and if he doesn’t rating, there’s a normal two-minute energy play. — Don L.

McIndoe: I get the logic right here. My concern is that we already see referees rooster out on penalty photographs method too typically. Imagine how arduous it will be to get them to name one if it was much more punitive than it’s now? Again, this seems like a type of unintended penalties conditions, the place all we’d find yourself doing is killing off each borderline penalty shot name. Which is most of them. NO.

Gentille: I used to be questioning what number of of those we’d do till somebody despatched this one — the little bit of rule-related trivia that bothers me greater than any of its friends. The present system isn’t honest. Probably by no means was. But pre-shootout, you would a minimum of observe the logic somewhat higher; skaters had an unlimited benefit as a result of nature of the penalty shot, and attending to see one was a particular deal with for the viewers. That’s not true anymore, and what we’re left with is a minimal penalty for what’s, theoretically, a extra egregious violation. It’s ridiculous. I’ll settle for McIndoe’s unintended penalties on this one. YES.

Mendes: Okay, I’m going to vote no on Don’s particular suggestion. As Sean says, I feel we find yourself seeing even fewer penalty shot calls sooner or later. But, I feel there’s some wiggle room right here. For starters, I want to see groups select in the event that they need to take a penalty shot or have a two-minute energy play when their participant is hooked down on the breakaway. Maybe it relies on the time of the sport. If you’re main by one aim with two minutes left, maybe you’d somewhat take the two-minute energy play and run out the clock. Another tweak to Don’s suggestion: If he feels just like the offending participant isn’t justly penalized, perhaps that participant has to take a seat within the penalty field for 2 minutes after the penalty shot — however his staff isn’t short-handed. It can be like when a participant will get a 10-minute misconduct penalty. He might come out of the field on the subsequent stoppage of play after his two minutes have expired. While I don’t agree with Don’s unique idea, I feel it’s an excellent leaping-off level for a dialogue. NO.


My prompt rule modification is that there must be no know-how on the bench or coach in touch with anybody exterior the bench (exception for concussion spotters/medical employees) throughout the sport.

The intention of this rule is to cut back the period of time we spend after a aim ready for a coach to determine whether or not or not they need to problem the aim.  Instead of getting one coach maintain their hand up for the official, whereas one other coach watches the reply on an iPad, and one other coach stands there with their hand on an earpiece ready to listen to an opinion from the replay room, and we exceed the said time coaches are imagined to be allowed to decide … you merely should go along with your intestine.

If you suppose the play was offside, the one sources you’ve in deciding whether or not or to not problem are your intuition and the others on the bench. The two-minute minor for an incorrect problem has helped scale back the frequency of challenges. Hopefully this would scale back them even additional. — Nate Y.

McIndoe: I’m in. This isn’t the one approach to repair the mess that offside overview has develop into — some dude wrote a few bunch of modifications we might make just a few weeks in the past, and the submit was universally acclaimed — however I’m good with this transformation only for the aesthetics of it. I’m bored with each shot of an NHL bench simply being a coach staring down at a display screen. I grew up within the period of John Brophy and Jacques Demers and Pat Burns, fiery coaches who would yell and scream at referees and their very own gamers and opponents and sometimes attempt to battle one another. Now everyone seems to be boring. If I wished to see somebody simply passively looking at somewhat display screen as a substitute of acknowledging the world round them, I’d try to work together with both of my kids. And that sounds terrible. YES.

Mendes: I feel we are going to find yourself with a Houston Astros sort of drawback if we completely ban know-how. Some staff will find yourself discovering a approach to transmit data all the way down to the bench and it is going to be a unnecessary controversy. (Though I really like the thought of some random staff worker banging a trash can to let their teaching employees know they need to problem a aim). The answer? Keep the know-how and make contact with, however put a tough restrict on the timing. Nate’s situation is that there’s an excessive amount of time elapsing as teaching staffs attempt to talk with one another. Give them a agency 30 seconds to make that call. If you need to problem a aim, you’ve received 30 seconds to take action. Otherwise, powerful luck.  NO

Gentille: I’m down with this as a broader idea — along with chopping again on the frequency of challenges, we have to drop the time spent on challenges that really do make it by means of. I’m on the fence with the specifics right here, although. I’m truly high quality with video coaches having a say. So high quality, the truth is, that I feel they need to be the one ones with entry to the replay tech. They can have a video-informed take, and the coach has to both belief them or go together with his intestine. Also, for leisure’s sake, stick a digicam within the teaching field; if there’s an attention-grabbing name made up there, the published can share it later. But I’m saying sure to the proposal. We’re pulling in the identical route. YES


Wow, the judges have been feeling beneficiant this week. We have a Rule Court report 5 new guidelines, together with two that handed with unanimous selections. Our new additions to the rulebook are:

  • The standings now use a 3-2-1-0 factors sytem
  • Hand passes above the ice are authorized now
  • No extra replay know-how on the bench for coaches
  • Referees now have to make use of their different arm to sign a second penalty on the identical play
  • And lastly, a radical change to shootout alternatives which I’m solely now realizing might battle with our earlier shootout change, however it’s too late now

Good work, everybody. And as at all times, in case you have an concept that you simply’d prefer to see thought-about within the subsequent session of Rules Court, you’ll be able to submit it here.



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