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Poll: What is your biggest NHL rules pet peeve?

Aug 22, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

Referee Getty Images

You might’ve heard that the NHL is holding a two-day summit in Toronto to discuss the standards of rule enforcement, with specific attention being paid to hooking, holding, slashing, and interference.

Basically, if you’ve ever complained about inconsistent officiating, you’ll want to know what comes of these meetings. Which is to say, everyone will want to know what comes of these meetings.

The first day of the summit was Tuesday; the second is taking place today.

Attendees include players, coaches, referees and general managers.

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, yesterday’s discussions also touched on embellishment.

While we wait for today’s meetings to wrap up, let’s take a quick poll to see where everyone’s main concerns lie with respect to what’s being discussed in Toronto.

  1. norseman81 - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Why can I never view the actual poll? Is it only for PC users? The app never has a poll.

  2. redwingsfan999 - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I hate the trapezoid

  3. quonce - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Trapezoid. (Brodeur lines). The only reason this exist is because of Marti. Two years left max, get rid of them.

    • esracerx46 - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      I think Marty Turco might’ve had a small part in that as well.

  4. sheckyrimshot - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    breaking a players stick shouldnt be an automatic slashing minor, these new fangled space man sticks break way too easily.

  5. jernster21 - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    In general it’s the consistency. Typically there is a huge difference in the way officiating occurs in the regular season vs. playoffs. In the playoffs they generally let the players play and let things go that they seemingly call all the in the regular season. It needs to be the same across the board, and preferably in playoff hockey fashion.

    • crackerjackjoe - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      Ditto. Even during a game the inconsistency drives me nuts. With baseball, you kind of know that the umpire is going to call a tight strike zone all night for everyone. You just deal with it. In hockey, you see a guy tap his stick on a player’s hip and nothing. The very next shift, he taps the guy again and gets a hooking call. It’s maddening.

    • predswilrule - Aug 22, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      and beginning of game and end of game. same thing on a different scale.

  6. sjsharks66 - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    In all honesty, icing calls. Sometimes if it comes close to the player it’s ruled no icing, then later that not its switched. Also when players slowly “try” to get it and they rule it an ice. I can’t stand it.

  7. sjsharks66 - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    *later that night

  8. meynbass - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Agree with playoff calls and the trapezoid.
    Someone suggested to me that they should reinstitute the two line pass and I wanted to slap him

    • davebabychreturns - Aug 22, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      Scottie Bowman suggested they reinstitute the two line pass. My first thought is of all the obstruction it’d lead to but when probably the smartest man in hockey says something, it’s worth considering.

  9. jasol20 - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    I think there’s just too much nitpicking by officials when it comes to the hooking/holding. Not every time a player removes one hand from his stick is it holding or interference. Not every time the blade comes off the ice is it a hook. More often than not it seems to be the trailing referee with the obstructed sightline making those calls, while the one with the actual view of where the hand/blade truly is, keeps his arm down.

    Secondly, I’d like to see the instigator rule enforced with some discretion. Standing up for a teammate (when actually warranted, not for a clean hit) is incredibly integral to this game, and also very unique about it. I can’t stand seeing the guy who stood up for his teammate(s) go for 2, 5, 10, and the game while the other guy just gets 5. Not exactly a rules change, but some discretion and actual analysis/thought process on the part of officials.

  10. csilojohnson - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Norseman, im pretty sure the poll is the comments. I use the app as well. I can never get the videos to play. Don’t know if its app or my phone…

  11. dropthepuckeh - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Diving, crying to the refs or anything Vancouver does…

    • loinstache - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:09 PM


    • jernster21 - Aug 22, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      You forgot finger biting.

  12. chrisvegas - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    I can’t stand the lack of consistency by refs. They will call one penalty then five minutes later the same exact penalty happens against the other team and they don’t call it. It seems like refs just call what they feel like calling rather then just calling it by the rules. I know people who are new to hockey always have trouble with this lack of consistency. You try to explain the rules to them, but then the Ref doesn’t call those rules consistency making the sport harder to understand for those new to hockey.

  13. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Remove the instigator, allow players to police themselves again to a degree, gives less for Shanny to have to consider.

    This Wings fans does not want to see Shea Weber banished for a single play-off game for what he did, I would rather someone land a shot across his jaw, and nice lil fight break out and move on, WITHOUT getting 2 mins for being a good hockey player and team mate.

    The instigator caused what happened with Steve Moore, and allowed guys like Cooke and Torres do to what they have done.

    Get rid of it

    • dmfc1112 - Aug 22, 2012 at 7:35 PM

      I agree 100% on the rule and the Moore incident.

      I don’t know any diehard hockey fan who hates fighting. It’s part of the game and has an important purpose. Let the boys be boys.

  14. treydogg97 - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    I don’t want to see hockey turn into basketball, but I would like to see obstruction enforced more.

    Also, get rid of the trap(ezoid).

  15. kingfooj - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    10 games for coming off the bench, let em go! haha

  16. flyersgoalscoredby88 - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    I would like to see more embellishment penalties called. Even if they’re wrong once in a while, it would make certain teams (Vancouver) do it less.

    • drewsylvania - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      Every team does it now, because the refs don’t call it.

    • typicalmontreal - Aug 22, 2012 at 3:13 PM

      Did you see LA in the Playoffs?

    • imleftcoast - Aug 22, 2012 at 4:34 PM

      Agreed, the Flyers are the biggest whiners in the league, and this might finally shut them up about the Penguins for two minutes.

      • flyersgoalscoredby88 - Aug 23, 2012 at 6:21 AM

        Best moment of the playoffs was Simmonds mocking the pens and specifically letang in game 2 of the layers/pens series

      • flyersgoalscoredby88 - Aug 23, 2012 at 6:21 AM

        Best moment of the playoffs was Simmonds mocking the pens and specifically letang in game 2 of the flyers/pens series

  17. drewsylvania - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Incredibly inconsistent suspensions/lack thereof.

  18. hockeyflow33 - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    It seems like a lot of the problem is that most NHL fans don’t understand the rules to begin with. How many times do you have to hear a linesman getting yelled at for not calling a penalty?

  19. lonespeed - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    The lack of a Sydney Crosby rule.

    In all seriousness, after I saw HBO’s Penguins / Capitals series, I was disgusted with the way that guy whined and treated the officials with his foul language tirades. Just like in basketball, if a player crys like that they should get the equivalent a technical foul.

    It should be mandatory. If you mouth off, you get sent to the box. It’s one thing to disagree with an official or make a case for your team. It’s completely different to follow the official around on the ice and yell obscentities about other players pulling on your jersey.

    The hand should immediately go up. “Number 87, two-minutes for whining.” Or “conduct unbecoming of a player”, if they need to be more politically correct.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      You mean good captain rule?
      Because you just described Messier’s treatment of many refs and many other guys who were the C over the years.

      Hockey refs exist to be told they suck

      • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:28 PM


  20. sjsharks66 - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:28 PM


    Honestly you are completely wrong. All players do that. All players you profanity at the officials. When the official feels like it has gone too far they will give them 10 minutes.

    Good example was Ryan Clowe this year. He got 2 minutes, was angry and slammed the box door. He then received another 2.

    I’ve seen 24/7 multiple times and saw MANY players, not just Crosby, complaining the the officials like you describe.

  21. rpiotr01 - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    My biggest gripe is with the automatic delay of game penalty for when a puck goes into the stands from the defensive zone. Sometimes this penalty is legit, for example when a d-man clears the puck cleanly up into the stands on a forehand shot when under duress from the forecheck.

    However, sometimes a puck is bouncing around in front of the net and a player swipes at it in desperation and it happens to flutter up over the boards. That should NOT be a penalty. Refs have all kinds of discretion to call penalties when it comes to hooking, interference, obstruction, tripping etc. But when it comes to the random swipe of a stick why should that penalty be automatic? These penalties can decide games in the playoffs, and the refs tend to (rightly) swallow their whistles and let the players play. Except, once again, for that delay of game penalty.

    Give refs more discretion when calling delay of game on a puck shot over the glass.

    • typicalmontreal - Aug 22, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      The part I hate most about that penalty, if a player shoots it straight out of their zone, super hard, and sends it over the opposing teams glass they get a penalty. Thats just crazy.

    • coopjr - Aug 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      Considering how many comments point at ref consistency as a big problem, not sure giving them more discretion will help.

  22. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    And oh yes, make the NHL more like the NBA is a winning idea.
    Take emotion out of the game (goodluck with that)
    Put more power into the hands of officials (hire Joey Crawford types) sounds great……

    Suggesting anything in the NBA is a good thing and should be copied is insane.
    You comment needs to be burned to the ground

    • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:38 PM


  23. ballistictrajectory - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Use the video replay to determine if embellishment should be called. If there’s any question, the whistle has already been blown to penalize the supposed infraction. Review the video to see how bad that infraction was and if the “victim” made a really bad acting job throw him in the box for a double minor.. That whole mentality of trying to get a call has to go.

    • mattj2524 - Aug 22, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      The best part of hockey is the flow of the game when you’re not getting whistles every 3 minutes. Adding instant replays to review embellishment won’t just kill that, make the games 20 minutes longer, and take away any chance at teams gaining momentum – but how are you supposed to tell from instant replay how hard a defender tugged at some forward with his stick? Terrible idea. Video reply should be reserved for “did the puck cross the goal line?” Period.

  24. comeonnowguys - Aug 22, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    As much as I hate embellishment, they need to prevent the return of dead puck at all costs, which means more consistent officiating AND more obstruction calls.

    • davebabychreturns - Aug 22, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      Ultimately if there was consistency in the standards of officiating then there would be much less embellishment.

      If they made embellishment subject to supplemental discipline it would reduce the problem even further.

      • comeonnowguys - Aug 22, 2012 at 5:54 PM

        I would love supplemental discipline. Great idea.

  25. mpg44 - Aug 22, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Touching a player who has the puck with your stick is not hooking. Impeding his ability to control the puck is . I hate this and most of the obstructing calls. As they are never called evenly. Which brings me to the most important one…. I really don’t care either way how you want to call the game but IT MUST BE DONE EVENLY ACROSS BOTH TEAMS!!!! This was a problem all year , especially when either a big market team or superstar player is involved!!

  26. mattj2524 - Aug 22, 2012 at 4:49 PM


    And not even actually calling diving – but how can it be hooking and diving? That’s never made any sense to me. It’s one or the other, call it that way. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the diving call made without the offsetting minor going the other way resulting in 4-on-4.

  27. muttbolts - Aug 22, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    I hate when the refs call interference in a d-man for playing the body on a 1on1 when the attacker say banks the puck off the boards and tries to Dance around the defender, and the d-man takes him out. I thought the last person to touch the puck was the puck carrier? how is that interference?

    • mpg44 - Aug 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM

      Completely agree with this. Nothing is more agravating to watch a puck hog pass to himself and still raw a penalty

  28. seaner44 - Aug 22, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    If they determine that it is diving the only penalty should be on the “divee” not both. What is the point of the call or the rule if the guy dives and the other player involved gets called on it as well? At least give the divee a double minor and the other player only 2 min

  29. icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 22, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    The lack of ‘delaying the game’ penalties called on players who purposely fall on the puck.

  30. barkar942 - Aug 22, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Many people are saying get rid of the trapezoid. I say only if the goalie is not allowed to leave his crease.

  31. billsin20xx - Aug 22, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    My biggest is – how can you have a tripping call and a diving call on the same play? He either tripped him or he didn’t!

  32. gmenfan1982 - Aug 22, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    I’d like to see obstruction called when it’s a dump and chase and the defenseman pins the chasing forward against the board. It’s interfering with a player not near the puck. And calling slashing every time one of these featherweight sticks break needs to stop.

  33. kotteintheslot - Aug 22, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    I would say consistency ESPECIALLY goalie interference. I still don’t know what constitutes no goal no penalty vs no goal and penalty vs goal actually counting…

  34. gmenfan1982 - Aug 22, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    And yeah, the instigator rule needs to be changed to allow players to stand up for their teammate if he was jumped or given a cheapshot.

  35. chibimike - Aug 23, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Intent to blow the whistle rule.
    How can you have a rule where the referee blows the whistle because he lost site of the puck, but he knows the puck was not in the net before he intended to blow the whistle? If he lost site of the puck and it end up in the net before he blows his whistle, he cannot say it wasn’t in the net before he intended to blow the whistle because he couldn’t see it. Just plain stupid.

  36. mmazzzzzz - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    shoot outs and the 3-point game…ridiculous.

  37. thedavesiknowiknow - Aug 23, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    The “obstruction” calls that lasted 3/4 of the first post-lockout season. When the NHL became an exciting and watchable sport again, the refs lost interest in calling them, and the game is no better than pre-lockout hockey. Maybe worse, and that’s okay with the people who are “selling” the NHL.

    The “Shanahan” factor last season was just sad and futile. There’s no phasing out head-shots and hits from behind when they’re only addressed when someone is hurt, and how bad it looks for the league is the deciding factor in the length of the suspension.

  38. pantherpro - Aug 27, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Get rid of nets behind goals that obstruct my $100 seats. Watch the game. Baseball doesn’t have nets behind the dugouts and those are much more dangerous seats than above 12 ft high glass

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