New Rules Same as the Old Rules

...especially in the sense that they appear have been written by half-wits.

NHL Rule Book - Summary of changes - - Rules
25.4 Awarded Goals - During the Course of a Penalty Shot - A goal will be awarded when a goalkeeper attempts to stop a penalty shot by throwing his stick or any other object at the player taking the shot or by dislodging the goal (either deliberately or accidentally).

Forget the fact that the rule forbids "attempting to accidentally dislodge the goal." Focus on the fact that "attempts to stop the ... shot by ... dislodging the goal" means both/either that the goalie actually dislodged the goal and/or he only attempted to dislodge the goal.

Yes, that's right. Intent to dislodge.


(Of course that's just wacky. Why would a ref ever decide what a player did based on what he obviously intended to do?)

48.1 Illegal Check to the Head - A lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted [,] and/or [is] the principle point of contact [,] is not permitted.

principle (noun): a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.

principal (adj): first or highest in rank, importance, value, etc.; chief; foremost.

48.2 Minor Penalty - There is no provision for a minor penalty for this rule.

48.3 Major Penalty - For a violation of this rule, a major penalty shall be assessed (see 48.4).

48.4 Game Misconduct - An automatic game misconduct penalty shall be assessed whenever a major penalty is assessed under this rule.

48.5 Match Penalty - The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head.

I will leave alone the fact that the rule requires a major penalty and game misconduct if a player merely "targets" the head of another player. Never mind, I won't leave it alone. "Target," used as a verb, means "to aim an attack at a particular object." The rule prohibits a player aiming a check at someone's head.

But the thing I originally wanted to point out (back when I was going to leave "targets" alone), is that the ref has the discretion to assess a match penalty if, in addition to intending to check (or actually in fact checking) a player in the head, the offending player also intended to injure said player.

I have said before: all checks to the head are attempts to injure. This is why I argued previously that no new rule was necessary. All checks to the head could already be penalized as "intent to injure."

How exactly would you even go about attempting to check someone in the head without intending to injure? I mean, seriously, if you gave it as assignment -- "I want you to go out there and check that guy in the head, right in the old noodle, but absolutely under no circumstances can you injure him in any way" -- could you act on it?

It's basically a Rule Book Koan.

48.6 Fines and Suspensions - Any player who incurs a total of two (2) game misconducts under this rule, in either regular League or playoff games, shall be suspended automatically for the next game his team plays. For each subsequent game misconduct penalty the automatic suspension shall be increased by one game.

Obviously, the commissioner has the discretion to assess longer suspensions, but I will not be surprised to see 48.6 have the opposite effect. First offense, no suspension. Second offense, one game suspension. Third offense, two games. Look, I'm sure there will still be long suspensions dished out to the occasional third-line energy guy; I'm just saying, don't be surprised if Bettman sticks close to the 48.6 guidelines for Ovechkin, Malkin et al.