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NHL ref: ‘I hate’ the puck-over-glass penalty

May 27, 2013, 2:17 PM EDT

Paul Devorski Getty Images

We don’t hear from NHL officials much, so when one does provide an opinion for public consumption, we pay attention.

Especially when one of them says he can’t stand one of the rules in the rulebook.

For veteran referee Paul Devorski, it’s the minor penalty for shooting the puck over the glass in the defensive zone that drives him nuts.

“I hate it,” Devorski told Sportsnet’s Mark Spector. “Only because…we all knew when a guy was tired and he threw the puck over the glass. Now…a guy just tries to put it off the glass, and he’s got it a little too high, and sure as hell he gets a penalty.

“I don’t like calling it, but I don’t have any say in the matter.”

Devorski isn’t alone in disliking the rule that’s been such a hot topic of discussion during the 2013 playoffs.

But the alternatives present other problems. If there’s no penalty, more pucks will go flying over the glass, and you could argue that’s unfair to the attacking team.

And if it’s left to the referees to decide intent, well, you can imagine the arguments there.

  1. valoisvipers - May 27, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    I wish more rules had less referee discretion. It seems to me that even icing a puck has too much referee discretion as well.

  2. tdrusher225 - May 27, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Why not just make it like the icing rule, where the players on the ice have to stay out there.

  3. bensawesomeness - May 27, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    It should be just the same as an icing. Can’t change, just re-drop the puck. The penalty is deciding too many games

    • patmanbnl - May 27, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      I like that idea but with a minor penalty if the puck is sent over the glass a 2nd time without having first been cleared from the defensive zone.

  4. JoeAvg - May 27, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    “We all knew when a guy was tired and he threw the puck over the glass.” Maybe, but you rarely called it and this is the result.

    • kitshky - May 27, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      Yep, and we all know they’d pretty much stop calling it if the rule was changed back … and the fans would start screaming every time they did.

    • matt14gg - May 28, 2013 at 7:35 AM

      You’re right and it pisses me off, cuz the way the rule is interpreted today is stupid. You can tell when a guy is shooting the puck into the stands on purpose and when he’s not. I hate when they remove “judgement” from plays like this, but as you said, it would go back to the way it was before and it would never be called.

  5. DTF31 - May 27, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Why not treat it like icing? No line change.

  6. kitshky - May 27, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Hey guys I have an idea … why don’t they treat it like icing!!

  7. titansbro - May 27, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Has anyone considered treating it like icing? No? Well, you’re welcome hockey fans.

    • kitshky - May 27, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      Damnit, why didn’t I think of that!?

    • matt14gg - May 28, 2013 at 7:37 AM

      If there was a way where they would just not allow a line change if you did it that would work. Has anyone thought about that?

  8. rpiotr01 - May 27, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Refs have discretion to call a slash, hook, trip, interference etc. Why not give them discretion for this? Especially on plays where guys are just trying to backhand the puck away from the front of the net, blade of the stick gets under it just right and it’s over the glass. Those guys are trying to throw it into the corner, not even up. Give the refs a little leeway with it.

    • captainloaded - May 27, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      It’s the only penalty in the league called consistently because it is not discretionary.

      • matt14gg - May 28, 2013 at 7:38 AM

        Well that and the “trapezoid rule”, which by the way is just as stupid.

    • scoocha - May 27, 2013 at 6:05 PM

      Less discretion for refs the better, have you not watched other sports?

  9. csilojohnson - May 27, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Allow every team 1 offense per game. If team does it a second time, call the delay of game penalty.

  10. heynyc61 - May 27, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    I havé à gréât idéal…. Mâle it similar to icing

  11. jimw81 - May 27, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    This is one of the penalties in which you need to look at the intent. if a player gets lazy and puts the puck out of play, call it. but with the dimensions of seating chart and what kind of glass the rink that is installed in the arena, it’s hard to call this penalty. It might easier to put the puck out of play at nassu coliseum than you can at the wells fargo center.

    btw, Paul Devorski looks likes you don’t get more games this year. Off to principal office for you go.

  12. Habib Marwan - May 27, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Its a joke of a penalty , it shouldnt even be a rule.

  13. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 27, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Hey guys I have an idea … why don’t they treat it like icing!!

  14. jacketsfan7 - May 27, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    I like it , if you eliminate the rule , players can just put it over the glass to eliminate pressure

    • whammy71 - May 27, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      Ditto – if you don’t want a penalty…..don’t throw the puck over the glass.

  15. jeff2000m - May 27, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Every team gets a warning, with the 1st offense same rule as an icing, (no line change) second offense is a penalty. Whats wrong with that?

  16. sjsharks66 - May 27, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Anyone hear of the idea to make it like an icing.

  17. hockeycoach1 - May 27, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    The rule works as intended. It’s been in place for 8 years now. There’s really no excuse for not adjusting. They wanted players to have to make a play not mindlessly bang it off the glass. Adjust already

    • kitshky - May 27, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      No, the rule does not work as intended … that’s the point.

      If the rule worked as intended then it would only punish a team if one of their players purposefully shot the puck out of play and delayed the game, currently it punishes players and their teams if the puck happens to be on end, or rolling, or any number of reasons that are beyond the players control … that was not the intent of the rule.

  18. Habib Marwan - May 27, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    again , it’s a joke of a rule

  19. billyhauntswizards - May 27, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    the rule makes sense but I agree it’s deciding way too many games. Just treat it like icing.

  20. pastabelly - May 27, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Great rule that also prevents so many face offs and longer games.

  21. boisehockeyref - May 27, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    For those of you that have kids in USA Hockey, or play adult league…guess what rule will be in effect next year if it is voted in during the summer meetings…yep…puck over the boards = minor penalty. Boy that’s gonna be fun.

  22. mordock57 - May 28, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    I’m getting kinda sick of the repeated notion that “this penalty is deciding too many games”. No, it is not. This is the whine (usually) of a team’s fan who watched their team lose because their team committed this penalty. Your team’s inability to control the puck or to kill penalties or the other team’s excellent power play are what decide the games when someone hasn’t learned to dump the puck up ice properly. Put the blame where blame is due. I don’t see you complaining when a game is lost after a valid slashing/hooking/tripping/roughing/charging/boarding/interference call gives the other team a PP chance. Man up and demand better penalty killing… or don’t commit the penalty at all. It doesn’t exactly happen in every game, or even every other game.

    Hey… has anyone considered making it like icing…? Just a thought.

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