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RDO Camp: Teams would be forced to carry puck out of the zone on delayed penalty

Aug 17, 2011, 8:18 PM EDT


One of the interesting rules that the league’s brass and general managers took a look at today was the Delayed Penalty Rule. The added wrinkle would require a team to not only gain possession of the puck, but to also get the puck out of their own zone before the referee blows the play dead. Think of all of those tense moments when fans are yelling for the team to just touch the puck; now they’d be yelling to not only touch the puck, but get possession, and completely clear the puck.

The rationale straight from the league’s RDO release:

“The extra time it will take a team to clear their zone, will be more time the non-offending team will have with an extra attacker which will provide more offense.”

Anyone who has followed hockey knows the uneasy feeling during the anxious few seconds when a team is desperately trying to touch the puck on a delayed penalty. Take that tense feeling and multiply it by a few seconds—maybe even a full minute. It creates yet another disadvantage for a team that has been penalized which would create a) more scoring and b) further dissuade teams from taking penalties. Oilers GM Steve Tambellini talked to Dan Rosen of about the new rule:

“You recognize the onus is on the player to get the puck out before they can blow the whistle. The play is not over. You have to work to earn the right to get the whistle. I didn’t mind that.”


“It also creates fatigue. Say you’re playing Detroit and they’ve been in the zone for a minute and a half, then you take a penalty and now you have to get it out of the zone. You’ll have a much greater chance for a scoring opportunity.”

The rule falls right in line with most of the other prospective rules: reduce the number of whistles and increase scoring. Like so many other rules, this is one that will probably take a little time for the league to consider, so don’t expect it to make an appearance for the upcoming season. But like last year, the rules that were being evaluated can make reappearance the next year when GMs have a better idea of what to expect and have had a year to think about any implications. Rules that start to gain traction this year could be up for real debate for the 2012-13 season. It sounds like most of the people involved liked the new twist on the delayed penalty—the next step will be to see just how vocal the proponents are over the coming months.

For one, this possible rule change sounds like it has some potential.

  1. icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 17, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    That is an interesting proposed rule change…

  2. polegojim - Aug 17, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    I love it – keeps the play MOVING with urgency, not just a touch-up vacation.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 17, 2011 at 11:36 PM

      I disagree, especially when at least 75% of penalties called nowadays are completely bogus. No need to punish the offending team further. I’d hate to see a game decided on a play where the offending team has already been out there a while, a garbage penalty gets called, the offending team is too tired to get the puck out, and it ends up in the back of their net

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    Interesting idea? Maybe? Good idea? Not a chance. There’s been more than enough rule changes to increase scoring and they’ve done the job. It ain’t broke so don’t fix it. What other ideas are they going to have to increase scoring? Maybe have the denfencemen skate with one arm tied behind their backs? Seriously, enough is enough

  4. stakex - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    Lets just make the goals a couple feet wider, and remove goalies from the game…. I think that might give the league the offense they want. /sarcasim

    Seriouslly, the league really needs to stop screwing with the game just to increase offense. If you don’t like hockey now, your not gonna suddenly like the game because teams start scoring a few more goals a year. Not to mention as 1943mrmojorisin1971 points out, most of the penelties called now adays are strait out of thin air. This rule change would simply allow the refs even more ability to mess with the outcome of games… and thats a HORRIBLE idea.

    I think the league is hoping it can increase scoring enough to allow Ovechkin (and possibly Stamkos) a shot at breaking Gretzky’s goal scoring record. Nothing helps boost ratings like a pro athleat chasing a scoring record. Thanks to Gretzky and his amazing stats however, thats something hockey might never see again unless the NHL REALLY screws with the game even more then they have… and it looks like they are going to keep trying.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:48 AM

      Exactly. The league seems to think if every game doesn’t end up 7-6 it must not be exciting. Most fans don’t see it that way, and the more commonplace high scoring games are the more boring they get in my opinion. Same deal with the shootout, unless I’m at the game I could not care less if it goes to a shootout. Even being at one doesn’t do as much for me as more overtime would (one of the reasonable rules they’re looking at which means Bettman will shoot it down)

      If looking at an opponent is going to be a penalty now, and it certainly seems that way during most games, maybe the league should just abolish even strength and have teams alternate powerplays all game. At least that way it would be fair to both sides and Bettman would get all the goals he wants

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