Breaking down the rule changes for the 2019-20 NHL season

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin talks with referee Jon McIsaac. (Nick Wass/AP)

The NHL has once again made some tweaks to the rule book heading into the 2019-20 season.

The Canadian Press takes a look at those changes.

VIDEO REVIEW

Referees will now be allowed to review major and match penalties. Officials will be able to look at a monitor and either confirm the call or reduce it to a minor penalty. They won’t be able to rescind the penalty. The change will be of little comfort to fans of the Vegas Golden Knights, who could only watch in Game 7 of last season’s first round of the playoffs when Cody Eakin was handed a five-minute major for cross-checking on Sharks captain Joe Pavelski. The call jumpstarted a memorable comeback — San Jose scored four times on the ensuring power play — that eventually resulted in a 5-4 overtime win. But had the new rule been in place, there’s a good chance Eakin would have seen his penalty reduced to a minor. The new rule allowing for review doesn’t include fighting majors. Referees can also review double-minors for high-sticking — either confirming the call or rescinding it in the case of friendly fire from a teammate. A double-minor for high-sticking, however, can’t be reduced to a simple two-minute infraction. The reviews only apply to calls that have been made, and can’t see a penalty added or increased in severity.

COACH’S CHALLENGE

An addition to the coach’s challenge rule this season — along with goalie interference and offside — is the ability to ask for a review of a play in the offensive zone that led to a goal, but should have been whistled dead. These scenarios include pucks that hit the protective netting above the glass, a hand pass to a teammate or a puck that was high-sticked. This rule was pushed through after San Jose scored on a play that included a hand pass in overtime of Game 3 of last spring’s Western Conference final. The consequence for an unsuccessful coach’s challenge is now consistent across all three categories. The first unsuccessful challenge results in a two-minute minor for delay of game, and a second unsuccessful challenge will see a double-minor assessed. There’s of course no penalty for a successful challenge, and coaches are allowed to ask for a review as many times as they like. Video reviews in the final minute of regulation and throughout overtime will still be handled by the NHL’s situation room.

HELMETS

A player that loses his helmet during play will now be penalized if he doesn’t leave the ice or retrieve and replace the equipment in a reasonable amount of time, as judged by the on-ice officials. A player that intentionally removes an opponent’s helmet during play will now be slapped with a minor penalty for roughing.

FACEOFFS

Attacking teams can now choose what side of the ice they want a faceoff to take place in the offensive zone following an icing call, at the start of a power play, after a stoppage by the goalie on a shot from outside the red line, and when a defensive skater unintentionally dislodges the net. All pucks sent over the glass by the attacking team will now also result in a faceoff in the defensive zone. The previous iteration of the rule stated that would only be the case on a shot at the net.

LINE CHANGES

Teams haven’t been allowed to change after icing the puck since 2005-06. Now the same scenario applies when a goalie freezes the puck on a shot from outside the red line and if a defensive player — not including the netminder — accidentally dislodges the net. Intentionally dislodging the net is still a two-minute penalty. As with icing, there are no timeouts allowed by the defensive team and TV breaks aren’t permitted.

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