NHL players no longer have an eternity to complete their penalty shot and shootout attempts with a slow-motion pirouette.
That -- technically it's the banning of the "spinorama" in shootout/penalty shot attempts -- is one of the more noticeable among many rule changes announced by the league today:
Rule 24 – Penalty Shot
The 'Spin-O-Rama' move, as described in Section 24.2 of the 2013-14 NHL Rule Book, will no longer be permitted either in Penalty Shot situations or in the Shootout.
No longer can players saunter in, come to a near-stop and shovel the puck in a sweeping reverse turn like a rec league skater completing a turn. (I'm obviously not a fan of the move when not under the stress of game conditions.)
The Islanders, who almost never resorted to the spinorama (the Backhand of Judgment is more their style), angered Martin Brodeur when both Ryan Strome and Josh Bailey beat him with that move in a meaningless late-season shootout, causing Brodeur to apparently shoot the puck back at Bailey.
Speaking of trolling Brodeur, who is looking to join a team, any team in case you hadn't heard, a few other rule changes worth looking at:
Rule 1.8 – Rink - Goalkeeper's Restricted Area
The trapezoid will be expanded by two feet from the goal post on both sides of the net.
Video review changes include this nugget, which is too late to alter several past Islanders grievances:
* In reviewing "Kicked in Goals," Hockey Operations will require more demonstrable video evidence of a "distinct kicking motion" in order to overrule a "goal" call on the ice, or to uphold a "no goal" call on the ice.
There are also changes to increase fines for diving on both players and their coaches, a widening of the faceoff hashmarks to international width (pending preseason experimentation), and the categorization of a few more types of major penalties that lead to automatic suspensions if they happen multiple times.
The following are all meant to aid offense:
Rule 76 – Face-offs
To curb delay tactics on face-offs after icing infractions, in situations where the defending team is guilty of a face-off violation, following an icing, the defending player who is initially lined up for the face-off will be given a warning, but will be required to remain in the circle to take the face-off. A second face-off violation by the defending team in such situation will result in a two minute minor bench penalty.
Rule 84 – Overtime
* Teams will switch ends prior to the start of overtime in the regular season.
* The entire ice surface will undergo a "dry scrape" prior to the start of overtime in the regular season.
* The procedure requiring the head coach to submit a list of the first three shooters in the shoot-out has been eliminated.
Rule 85 – Puck Out of Bounds
There have been further rule changes made relating to face-off location to avoid penalizing teams for plays intended to create bona fide scoring opportunities. Specifically, the following are "categories of plays" where face-offs will remain in the attacking zone despite the fact that the attacking team was technically responsible for the stoppage in play: Shots at the net by a player on the attacking team where: (i) the shot breaks the glass; (ii) the shot goes off the side of the net and deflects out of play; (iii) the shot goes off the dasher boards or glass and deflects out of play; (iv) the shot is tipped or deflected out of play by a teammate; and (v) the shot becomes wedged in or on the exterior of the goal net.
And then there is this adjustment to how tripping is handled in those classic, controversial "I dove and took out the man but got the puck first" situations:
Rule 57 – Tripping
The rule relating to "Tripping" will be revised to specifically provide that a two minute minor penalty will be assessed when a defending player "dives" and trips an attacking player with his body/arm/shoulder, regardless of whether the defending player is able to make initial contact with the puck.
But, in situations where a penalty shot might otherwise be appropriate, if the defending player "dives" and touches the puck first (before the trip), no penalty shot will be awarded. (In such cases, the resulting penalty will be limited to a two-minute minor penalty for tripping.)
Cheers? Jeers? Quibbles? I know you have 'em.