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GM Meetings: Pucks over the glass still = penalties

Mar 12, 2012, 5:49 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v New York Rangers Getty Images

A little earlier this afternoon, we discussed Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke’s somewhat melodramatic reaction to his beloved bear hug rule being received about as well as the idea of actually being “hugged” by a bear. (Editor’s note: they’re not going to hug you, Grizzly Man.)

Burke wasn’t just bummed about the bear hug rule, though. He also brought up a far less controversial idea to eliminate one of the NHL’s most polarizing post-lockout penalties: an automatic delay of game minor if a player sends the puck over the glass in his own zone. Hockey purists go wild over the penalty and Burke agreed – but other GMs didn’t share his opinion, according to what he told James Mirtle.

Thus when Burke discussed getting “dirt kicked in his face,” he might have been describing a double shot of sorts.

A lesser evil

Personally speaking, I’ve been a bit divided on the delay of game penalty. There are times when whistling it seems arbitrary, but call this viewpoint jaded if you like, but there’s a certain cleanness about taking some guesswork out of referees’ hands. I think NHL zebras get far too much of a hard time for making tough calls in one of the world’s fastest sports, yet the significant decay of obstruction penalties shows that they’ll swallow their whistles when they can.

Ultimately, I’d like it to be a judgment call, but much like the shootout, it’s probably best to shift to bigger issues. I’d rather the league focus on a) no-brainers like removing the trapezoid and instituting hybrid icing and b) actually enforcing rules that already exist.

(To Burke’s delight, it seems like hybrid icing might actually happen.)


Where do you stand on the polarizing puck-over-the-glass penalty, though? Do you hate it, understand it or maybe a combination of the two? Do tell.

  1. canuckinamerica - Mar 12, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    If players who earn millions can’t clear the puck low and have no control……what are they doing in the NHL? It should stay in as a penalty. Burke should be the one over the glass. Or at very least….have more dirt kicked in his face.

  2. dirtydog57 - Mar 12, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Puck over the glass should be a referee judgment call ;did the player do it to delay game or was he clearing the puck and it went high!!!

    • barkar942 - Mar 12, 2012 at 6:16 PM

      And this will only work when all refs have finished having their Amazing Kreskin EPS training to know exactly what the player was thinking.
      Leave the rule alone.

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 12, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    This absolutely should be a judgement call, especially since the glass isn’t the same height in every rink. But I guess wanting the refs to use what limited discretion they have is asking too much. Shooting the puck over the glass on purpose has always been illegal so this rule is just pointless.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 12, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      Maybe they could call the Toronto war room…

      • jpelle82 - Mar 12, 2012 at 7:36 PM

        too much time wasted, the nhl is trying to be faster…video review should be reserved for goals as a last resort.

  4. atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 12, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    The rule is ridiculous and needs to be eliminated! It’s called too often when there clearly was no intent to stop play, an example of this: Braydon Coburn was penalized for it earlier this year when he played the puck 200 feet down the ice and it went into the netting, that’s a tough thing to do and clearly if a player were just looking to stop play he’d find easier ways to do it such as shooting it into the benches, somehow it’s not a penalty if a player shoots it from his own zone into the benches.

    If you’re going to call the penalty then fine do it all the time, anytime a player puts it out of play anywhere on the ice it’s a 2 minute penalty otherwise just make it like icing the offending team can’t change players and the faceoff is in their end.

    • jpelle82 - Mar 12, 2012 at 7:30 PM

      the reason its not a penalty on the benches is because there is no glass there, you have to accomodate for a structural difference in the rink itself. i agree that a player shouldnt get 2 mins for sending it 200 ft into the netting, it should be like icing. i dont agree however that the delay of game should be gone, in fact i dont really care if it hits the glass or not, i think unless its deflected then it should be a penalty. if you are in your own zone, you cant put it out of play, its cheating. it just opens up too many stoppages and guys will take advantage of it on the pk immediately. if the puck makes it to the opposing off zone then it should be like icing, if it leaves the rink in the defensive or nuetral zones it should be a penalty.

  5. jrod691 - Mar 12, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    2 minutes is too harsh of a penalty for simply throwing the puck over the glass. Why not make it the equivalent of icing the puck? No line changes, no commercials. It has essentially the same impact on the game so why not make the punishment the same?

    • jpelle82 - Mar 12, 2012 at 7:34 PM

      because guys will do it all the time on the penalty kill…just to get a faceoff and win back possession to then clear the zone. if i were a coach i would have my best faceoff guy on the ice for the pk and just tell them to throw it over the glass if there’s overwhelming pressure. it takes a good hockey play to clear the zone on the pk and its usually hard earned. you would take away the advantage of a powerplay. its a good rule.

  6. leepetertk - Mar 12, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    I like the concept of penalizing the play in a sense, but I also think 2 minutes for this play is a little steep. It is also a zero-tolerance penalty, which could affect important games on very innocent plays.

    My solution would be to make the play an icing on the first call. Then, on the subsequent play, if the defensive team has cleared the puck over the glass again, a 2 minute delay of gain penalty would be called.

    Thus 2 minute penalty would be called if two consecutive “puck over the glass” incidents occur without the puck first being cleared from the defensive zone. The first icing acts as a warning to the defensive team.

  7. nsmiff87 - Mar 12, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    Why would they even think of removing that penalty? Defenseman could just dump it over the glass if they’re tired.

  8. nyrangersfan - Mar 12, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    I think the rule should stay for the simple fact of the pk not purposely flipping the puck out of play due to being pressured. Also makes the game more interesting seeing how the pk manages to clear their zone.

  9. blomfeld - Mar 12, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Keep The Rule !

    The “intent” argument does have it’s merits … but there’s no feasible way to enforce that, unless the player shooting the puck out of play is given a “lie detector” test right on the spot in-order to determine what his thought process truly was ? … Obviously that’s not possible and therefore this rule should stay the way it is, for the betterment of the game … like hand passing, shooting pucks out of play while under pressure or duress, is an unacceptable act of both cowardice and cunning …

  10. alexb64 - Mar 12, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    I haven’t liked this rule since they instituted it. You could NEVER intentionally put the puck over the glass, the only thing this rule has done is created ridiculous power plays for instances when a player accidentally puts one over the glass trying to clear the puck off the boards. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen this called in a case where someone intentionally put the puck over the glass, because no one is trying to. What next a double minor for icing? I mean if you think about it the intention is VERY clear there, it’s MAYHEM!

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