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Ovechkin on NHL’s new no-tuck jersey rule: ‘I think it’s kind of stupid’

Sep 15, 2013, 4:35 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin AP

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is upset with Rule 9.5 from this year’s official rulebook. If you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s because it’s a subtle, new addition that could wind up being controversial.

This year’s rulebook has hammered home some issues regarding uniforms and equipment and Rule 9.5 says players aren’t permitted to tuck their jerseys into their padding and their back uniform numbers cannot be obscured.

Ovechkin tells Katie Carrera of the Washington Post he’s less-than enthused about the change.

“I’m the guy who love that kind of stuff. I’m kind of upset about it, but most important thing, nobody talk to us, the players. They think it can be dangerous for somebody. I think it’s kind of stupid,” Ovechkin said Sunday. “My gear is not stay [near] my body so jersey always goes in. If I’m going to put jersey normally, I’m going to skate and it goes back.”

Through his whole career, Ovechkin has been a jersey tucker. Asking a player to change like that can be upsetting and now it could cost them two minutes in the box.

If a player is caught once with that (or any other equipment issue) happening, they’ll be warned about it. A second time, however, could result in a minor penalty. Picture a team losing a game late because a player’s jersey got stuck in their breezers.

And here we thought the puck-over-glass penalty got people up in arms.

  1. hockeyflow33 - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    So stupid. It’s not for the officiating, it’s for their marketing efforts. Players have numbers on their sleeves and helmet, no one with an ounce of sense thinks this is because an official can’t see a number

    • 950003cups - Sep 15, 2013 at 9:12 PM

      only one reason I can think of for the league to mandate such a senseless rule.


      They want the whole jersey to show.

      I think the league is a few seasons away from us looking like the European leagues. With advertisement patches all over the jerseys and helmets.

      So they want to implement it now that everyone shows every dollar inch of that jersey. Guys like Ovi can bring the league a lot of cash for that bottom quarter panel of his jersey if its untucked.

      • hockeyflow33 - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:02 PM

        They already wear ads on their practice jerseys.

      • 950003cups - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:40 PM

        The endorsements on the practice jerseys don’t mean much. Even NFL practice jerseys have that. Giants have Timex. I’m not sure, but I think the Jets have Atlantic Health. So that’s not of great concern. If Ovi was a slick man, or just hired me, we would offer several endorsements for the back of his pants. I’m thinking Levi’s would love to drop a few bucks there. Or maybe even La-Z Boy? Maybe a Preperation H? Even offer PSA’s there for quitting smoking. It could say, “Don’t Be A [arrow pointing to his butthole] Quit Smoking Now”

        Ovi needs to call me ASAP. I’ll fix this Tuck Rule drama.

    • iHeartHockey31 - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:23 AM

      I can’t even SEE the numbers most of the time [at games], I recognize Ovi BECAUSE he’s the one with his jersey tucked in. I can’t imagine a TV announcer or official having an issue identifying Ovechkin because they can’t see his number.

      It’s also the way to recognize Kris Letang. Although he tucks almost his entire jersey in.

      In theory it could give the players who do it an advantage because if someone on the other team isn’t paying enough attention to who’s on the ice, it was really easy to figure out if Ovi [or Letang] was there.

      [As for the endorsements] the league DID say it was going to make another $1B in revenue this season.

      I think this is payback from the NHL for the NHLPA holding out as long as it did to come to around to agreeing partway with the unreasonable demands the NHL made during the lockout. They’re just taking all the players fun away. The ‘Brodeur Rule’, The ‘Panthers Rule [no throwing rats on the ice during the games]. Let’s not forget about the ‘Avery Rule’ [no acting like an obnoxious a$$]. They can call this the ‘Ovechkin’ Rule. If I was Ovi, I’d demand they make a rule to take Sid Crosby’s fun away too. The ‘Crosby Rule’ 2 minute penalty for whining / crying to the ref.

      Did the league ever think maybe the FANS like when Ovi [and Tanger] tuck in their jerseys] because it makes it easier for us to identify them? Just like the fans liked Price & Subban’s ‘Triple Low Five’ until their new coach took their fun away too, Maybe they’ll ban all goal & [goalie win] cellys too.

      • hockeyflow33 - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        You’re watching the wrong sport, hockey has never been about celebrations nor will it ever be. Guys who do garbage like that get pummeled.

        I also don’t see why you not being able to throw crap on the ice is a bad thing. When I go to a game I pay to watch hockey, not to see a circus.

  2. lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    What would happen if the officials just decided to band together and not call some BS penalty like this? This is what the NHL is concerned about? Good grief.

    • claudegirwho - Sep 15, 2013 at 8:51 PM

      I think all the players should tuck their jerseys till they throw out this stupid rule

      • babykaby - Sep 16, 2013 at 3:15 AM

        Now that would be amazing.

  3. pitpenguinsrulez - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    By far the dumbest rule I’ve heard in quite a while. I have to agree with Ovie on this one. It’s just another cheesy marketing campaign.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      I never in a million years thought they’d come up with something dumber than the trapezoid rule… but here it is!

      • potbellyjoe - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        I don’t know, coming down hard on a guys stick and causing it to snap = slashing is pretty piss-poor too…

        That was to placate their relationship with the manufacturers. Hard to sell $150+ sticks when a defenseman using $40 wood ones smash them to pieces when you come across the blue line.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        I agree about the new sticks being borderline useless and the slashing call is overused because the sticks break for no apparent reason, but sometimes slashes ARE hard enough to break even a real stick and it effects the play.

        Sweater being tucked in doesn’t effect anything at all. The rule makes no sense.

  4. killerpgh - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Wayne Gretzky would not be happy about this stupid rule.

  5. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    The last thing the League needs is fashion policing.

    I think Ovechkin’s being too polite just calling it “kind of stupid”… Something like “extremely idiotic”, “clinically retarded” would have been more accurate.

    So pointless. Jersey tucked in or not, doesn’t effect any part of the game what-so-ever. Just gives the refs another useless task to waste their time and energy focusing on… they can barely keep track of the rules they have to focus on as it is.

    I’d rather the refs focus on whether the puck actually crosses the goal line, than something this useless.

    • bauxjangles - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      We can see if the puck passes the line, the problem is if the goal is legal or not. Goalie interference is sort of a big issue.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:00 PM

        I was poking fun at that missed call yesterday during the Calgary-Edmonton game. The puck never crossed the line.

        My overall point is that there’s far more important things going on during the games for the refs to focus on.

  6. Stiller43 - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    He likely does it to be different anyway, like his tinted visor, yellow laces, sleeves barely past his elbows, jerey tuck, etc…this guys trys to make the biggest fashion statement in the league for being different.

    He’ll get over it.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      So what… if a player wants to tuck his jersey or wear a tinted visor is it really that big a deal?? And it could be about more than fashion, it may have to do with comfort. Overall this is a pointless rule.

      • sunderlanding - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:41 PM

        If that’s true, than is it really a big deal if they can’t do it? Who cares? If it’s not a big deal why is everyone complaining about it. It’s not like tucked sweaters enhance the game.

    • stakex - Sep 15, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      Most of those things have practical reasons aside from fashion. Tinted visors are great if you have light sensitive eyes, keeping your sleeves rolled up can help when taking a shot, and tucking in the jersey is a comfort thing.

      Even if it is something he does to be different, so what? Who wants to be a conformist.

  7. afrozenpond - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Look good, feel good. Feel good, play good (well).

    • Anoesis - Sep 16, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      +1 for correct sentence structure.

  8. bauxjangles - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    What did he say? Al I understand is that he thinks it’s stupid….

  9. cweez2 - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Setting the stage for ads on the jersey.

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      I thought it was more marketing but after reading this I think you could be 100% correct. It makes total sense that you have guys get used to the untuck for a few years before you start rolling out the jersey ads.

      • claudegirwho - Sep 15, 2013 at 8:54 PM

        I will never buy another jersey again if they start to put ads on them. This is my worst nightmare coming true

  10. bruinsfan19 - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Dumbest rule I’ve ever heard of. Why care if a player tucks their jersey. This is what the league is concerned about? Like come on

  11. blomfeld - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    “My gear is not stay my body so jersey always goes in” …

    How do you even respond to that ? The bottom line is that Gretzky tucked in his jersey for reasons of ‘superstition’ which was at least understandable. Ovechkin on the other hand does this because he thinks he’s cool. Well ‘newsflash’ Ovechkin … you’re positively the farthest thing ever from being cool ! I’m not even a Capital’s fan and yet I find myself at times almost ‘cringing’ at the absolute ‘buffoonery’ of this clown. Somebody there in DC needs to explain to this dope that the idea is to ‘walk the walk’ before you ‘talk the talk’ … truly unbelievable.

    ps: and this is the highest paid player in the league ? … where’s Aeroflot when you need ’em eh ?

    • stakex - Sep 15, 2013 at 7:37 PM

      I think being a three time league MVP would qualify as “walking the walk”.

      • blomfeld - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM

        “Walking the walk” is captaining your team to Stanley Cup victory, like Dustin Brown for example …

    • babykaby - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:30 AM

      Dumbfeld, I’ve been reading your comments on Ovechkin for I don’t know how long now and you always manage to make yourself come across as totally ridiculous as well as uninformed. It is quite obvious Ovi isn’t tucking his jersey because it, or he, is cool. . He says his gear (as in padding) does not sit close to his body, so as he is moving his jersey goes in. If you had any sense at all you would have understood what he was saying. To call someone a buffoon, because you are jealous of them, or have an unfair bias against them, just magnifies any real knowledge regarding the player or the game. I have no doubt if Crosby had said those words you would have believed he was quoting the Bible. Ovechkin is one of the all-time greats already, if you were truly a hockey fan you would give him credit for all he has contributed to the game. In other words get your head out of your a$$, grow up, and get a life. Btw, because I know you don’t realize it, but hockey is a team sport, no one wins a cup on their own.

      • joey4id - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:05 AM

        Exactly! Crosby would never put himself in a position to say stupid things. He’ll leave that to Ovi.

      • blomfeld - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        “Ovechkin is one of the all-time greats already” ? …

        Now in his 9th NHL season, Mister ‘Me Make Scores Goals’ has 371 to his credit which while decent, doesn’t even approach the ‘Top 100’ of all time. Yet according to you he’s still one of the all-time greats ? Sorry friend, but somewhere between ‘me stay in KHL’ and ‘my body so jersey always goes in’ you’ve lost me ? Please elucidate ! :)

        ps: Crosby is ‘infinitely’ superior to Ovi and everyone knows that …

      • jcerswell - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        Blomfeld, you are a true moron. Ovechkin’s career stats put him 6th All-Time in Goals per game and 11th in Points per game.

        He has played 7 1/2 seasons not 9. Even if you count last year as a full season he hasn’t played one regular season game of what will be his 9th season yet. When you lie to make a point you lose all credibility.

        In fact, his GPG average is better than that of Brett and Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, Phil Esposito and Wayne Gretzky himself. (AO .617 > WG .601).

    • girouxed - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      Ovechkin would eat you for breakfast bro.

    • jcerswell - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      Gee, thanks for clarifying you’re not a Capitals fan. I couldn’t tell.

  12. Stiller43 - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:02 PM


    Did i say i agreed with the rule? My only point is that he doesnt NEED to do it, he probably just likes to do it to have a different look, like many other of the things he does.

  13. broadrun96 - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    @blomfeld Wow, possibly the DUMBEST comment I’ve ever heard online. How did what he say have anything to do with cool??? It was a comment about his jersey moving into his pads because of how he moves on the ice. But if you are so sad and pathetic, or I’m guessing jealous that you SUCKED at hockey to actually read his comments then NBCSports, the NHL and the world would be better woff without you ever posting again.

    • joey4id - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      Beyond you to see that Ovi is all about ‘flash’. The guy is a clown. If this is going to be a distraction to him, then how is every stupid defensive play he does on the ice not a distraction to his team’s defensive objectives? He can go to the KHL and be the clown he wants to be.

      • babykaby - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:40 AM

        Why don’t you get mirror, look into it and ask yourself, what have you ever done in your life to make one single person want to spend half a second with you? The answer would be, nothing. Your comments make it very obvious you do not watch Ovechkin play. If you respond and say you do watch him, then my question is if you hate this guy so much, why would you watch him. Clown? The only clowns I recognize are you and your good buddy blomfeld (dumbfeld). Btw, the nhl would be a lot less exciting without someone like Ovi. You are just so blinded by your hatred, you don’t even realize the truth of that. I feel sorry for people like you.

      • joey4id - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:14 AM

        Ok. Me get mirror. Me see me. Me don’t watch clown. Me watch hockey games. Him good offense player. Him big mouth clown and no good defense player. NHL lose, Gretzky, Messier, Orr, Richard, Lafleur, Dionne, and many more. NHL still exciting. Ovi go to KHL. NHL still exciting. NHL not OviHL.

    • blomfeld - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:32 PM

      “would be better woff without you ” ? …

      don’t tell me, you starred as an ‘extra’ in Return To The Planet of The Apes ? … pretty good eh ? :)

    • blomfeld - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      “because of how he moves on the ice” ? …

      seriously pal ? … and you want to talk about ‘dumbest’ on-line comment ever heard ?

  14. capsfan19 - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Thank you @broadrun. Blomfeld is obnoxious.
    This rule is rediculous and unbelievable. Too bad blomfeld couldnt comment on the article instead of being a loser and a troll for anything that has to do with the caps. Get over it buddy.

    • blomfeld - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:39 PM

      “This rule is rediculous” ? …

      now with you, I’m gonna go with Beneath The Planet of The Apes … not bad eh ? :)

      • babykaby - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:43 AM

        Better an ape than an a$$….not bad eh? Freaking idiot.

  15. 950003cups - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Bunch of idiots!!! Gretzky was famous for that. It’s not even close to bring a problem.

  16. mclovinhockey - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    My NHL 14 avatar is going to be in the box forever…this rule makes 0 sense

  17. arbruins - Sep 15, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    I don’t care for the rule or Ovary…Ovie. Bergeron tucks his jersey in as we’ll and the number on his back is as plain as day. How long will it be now before we see penzoil and eat at joe’s ads on the players backs?

  18. drewsylvania - Sep 15, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    If this messes up Bergy, there’s going to be hell to pay.

  19. proudliberal85392 - Sep 15, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Once again, my esteemed colleague, blomfeld, nailed it.

    • blomfeld - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:59 PM

      You know friend, the kicker is that many of my favorite “all time” hockey players are Russian, with Vladislav Tretiak being my # 1 forever ! And I can guarantee you that he along with other ‘glorious’ greats such as Yakushev, Kharlamov, Petrov, Maltsev, Makarov & Larionov would ‘never’ for a second have behaved in the childish & self-centered way that Ovechkin does. It’s a shame really, as it’s more a mark against the ‘weakening’ moral fiber of our society today than it is on Ovechkin himself …

      *** Special ‘Executive’ Video Selection for Proudliberal85392 ***

      • babykaby - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:48 AM

        It is amazing that you point a finger at Ovechkin, when here you are in nearly every thread posting your stupid videos that are not funny. You really want attention, don’t you? Is your mommy working and can’t spend time with you? I think, and I’m sure there are many who would agree with me, that you are the buffoon, the clown, the prima donna. For goodness sake, please grow up and get a life.

      • joey4id - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:09 AM

        babykaby, you sure now how to give someone attention.

      • blomfeld - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        “Is your mommy working and can’t spend time with you” ? …

        I thought I was supposed to be geezer living in an old folks home ? LOL ! :)

        Listen Einstein, there actually is an NHL player who still lives with his mommy at age 33. Can you guess who that might be ? You Got It Pontiac, big man Alexander Mikhaylovich Ovechkin ! What a complete joke eh ? Now compare that to a ‘true’ Russian hockey legend like Vladislav Tretiak, who at the tender young age of only 16 was already on the Soviet National team and then was only 20 when he lead his nation against Team Canada in ’72 Summit Series ! That my friend is greatness ! … not some new-age, hot-dogging, yeah me, pansy like Ovechkin !

  20. mclovinhockey - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Next year the league plans to ban gang colours from teams

  21. passenger37 - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Right, because Bergeron’s tucked jersey is obviously why he’s the most underrated player in the league.. next year see: sock tuck.. all in or half out?

  22. watermelon1 - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    ANOTHER rule that wouldn’t ever happen if it was Crosby that did this.

    NHL already has enough trouble getting fans and keeping them. Now they want to push out one of their best players?

    Russia… Sounds like Ovechkin might be coming home sooner rather than later.

    I know I wouldn’t stay if the league I helped carry for years pulled this crap.

    • joey4id - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:22 AM

      Trouble keeping fans….. Really!

      CHICAGO — Although the salary cap will go down next season to $64.3 million, the league looks to be positioning itself well for a return to pre-lockout revenue totals.

      The 48-game, lockout-shortened season played to 97 percent capacity during the regular season, and more than 100 percent capacity during the playoffs, Bettman said.

      As for revenues, the NHL is projecting higher than a straight percentage of the games played during the truncated season that began Jan. 19.

      • blomfeld - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        Well stated Joey !

        The ‘fake’ lockout has been a success in the short term, with attendances and revenues trending upwards in the majority of key markets. However, like the 2008 financial meltdown, I’m still not convinced that the ‘core’ problems have gone away? Especially so in the sunbelt, where teams like Florida are offering $7.00 game tickets in-order to lure fans. Guess we’ll see in going forward eh ? :)

  23. millertime1101 - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:16 AM

    Jagr is most famous for his jersey its going to look weird

  24. Jeff - Sep 16, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    Well there are alternatives for NHLers who don’t like the rule – Russia or strike.
    In fact, I’m kinda surprised there hasn’t been a work stoppage over this.
    C’mon Donald Fehr, rally the players.

  25. drooroo - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    At least Gretzky is not in the league anymore. What would he have done? He’s probably the most famous sweater-tucker of all.

  26. avfanforlife - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    I am completely surprised that the NHL didn’t begin the rule with : “Unless your jersey has the number 87 on it, it must be untucked…”

  27. amityvillefun - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Shirt tucking is cool. NHL stop acting so stupid.

    How about focusing on rules that keep players from getting concussions and other injuries instead of worrying about this nonsense?

    All the players should tuck now….just to say “f*** y**!”

    99 set the trend. Let it go as is.

  28. eddyguay - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Good to highlight the new rules but it must be a slow news day for someone to even bring this up.
    Somehow I doubt this is going to affect Ovi too much. Here’s a guy who is willing to stop playing 2 weeks in the NHL to go over to play at the Olympics and regularly plays for Russia at the World Championships. What do those tournaments have to do with anything? The IIHF has had this no tuck-in rule for a few years. If he’s going to have problems here with that rule, he’s already had to deal with it other in Europe.

    Go through some old Gretzky pictures and see what the difference is between him (in the 80’s and 90’s) and Ovi/Bergeron. You could always see his number because 1) he tucked in his jersey on one side 2) he worn a different style of pants. What Ovi/Bergeron does is totally different.

  29. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Hey Blowfeld, are we going to get any cheese with all this whine? Your comment about Ovechkin just doing it to be cool was stupid. Attacking people for pointing it out just confirms what people are saying about you. Be a man, accept you were wrong and suck it up, Chump.

    or… Troll harder like the obnoxious child you apparantly are.

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