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New Standards of Enforcement

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Latest: Wednesday October 04, 2000 12:42 AM

During the offseason, the NHL introduced and implemented new standards of enforcement on a number of rules. Those standards will be in effect this upcoming season.

1. Standards for Obstruction and Slashing Penalties for the 2000-01 Season


  • Referees will be instructed to use the "obstruction" terminology only for infractions committed in the neutral zone.
  • A player will be assessed a two-minute penalty for "obstruction hooking" or "obstruction holding" if he "locks on" to a player, not in possession of the puck, with either his stick or his hands, or if he otherwise impedes his opponent's progress through the neutral zone with his stick.


  • Referees will be instructed to pay particular attention to players who slash their opponents.
  • Any "forceful swing" or "powerful chop" to an opponent above the waist, including on or above the hands when the player is in the process of playing the puck, will result in, as appropriate, either a minor penalty, a five-minute major and a game misconduct penalty or a match penalty resulting in an automatic suspension and the possible imposition of Supplementary Discipline.

    2. Player Disciplinary Procedures for the 2000-01 Season

  • Focusing on reducing "hits to the head" and paying attention to "hits from behind."
  • Imposing more severe discipline than in the past (including suspensions where none might have been imposed in prior seasons and longer suspensions in those cases where suspensions would have been imposed):
    (i) Any blow to the head delivered by forceful use of the stick (either by cross-check or slash);
    (ii) Any blow to the head delivered forcefully by a deliberately raised elbow or forearm; and
    (iii) Any "hit from behind" or any act which warrants a major boarding penalty.

    3. Changes to Linesmen's Responsibility

    Double-minor penalties
    Linemen no longer will assess double minor penalties. However, the linesmen still will be allowed to call major stick fouls (i.e. - Match Penalties - Rule 43 Attempt to Injure and Rule 52 Deliberate Injury of Opponents)

    Rules affected:
    Rule 46 Butt-Ending
    Rule 60 Head-Butting
    Rule 61(b) Note 1 High Sticks
    Rule 86(c) Spearing

    Instigator Penalties - Rule 56 Fisticuffs
    Referees exclusively will call Instigator Penalties.

    Penalty Shots - Rule 30
    The only situation in which a linesman will be allowed to call a penalty shot will be when he observes a stick being thrown at the puck or the puck carrier. The referees must call penalty shots resulting from any other situations.

    Checking from Behind - Rule 48
    Checking from behind penalties will be called exclusively by the referees.

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