NHL: new season, new rules
Posted January 11
Updated January 11
Hello everyone. Like the majority of you, I am very happy that NHL hockey is back. It will furnish our evenings in these times of confinement.
As with every start of the season, the NHL is making a few rule changes. For the 2020-2021 season, there is only one major change, concerning the “83.1 offside” rule.
From now on, a player will no longer be required to be in contact with the blue line before the puck enters the attacking zone. The linesman will focus on the inside part of the blue line and if the skate is over the blue line, much like flying an airplane, that player will not be considered offside.
Last season there were 75 coach challenges for offside and on 56 occasions the decision was changed. The NHL says that with the new rule in place, 14 disallowed goals last season would have been allowed.
With this new application of the rule, we return to the spirit of the rule which was to correct errors in the case of a flagrant offside.
In the rule book, each infraction is represented by a referee who signals. This season, the NHL added the signal for a fight.
Some will be surprised to learn that there was no signal for a fight. Some referees still allowed themselves to add their touch.