While NHL general managers passed on altering the emergency goaltender protocol, they have recommended changes to the offside rule for next season.
The change would make the offside rule simpler for players and easier for fans to understand. It should also simplify video reviews.
The proposal – which will still need to be approved by the competition committee and BOG – would change the language of the rule to say a player only has to break the plane of the blue line to determine offside. The current version of the rule requires at least one skate to be “in contact with, or on his own side of the line” for the player to be onside.
According to Pierre LeBrun, the skate-in-the-air-offside debate happened after reports were presented on puck and player tracking and the Department of Player Safety.
Day 2 of the NHL GM meetings here in Boca Raton. Main items today: Report on puck/player tracking (slated to begin in the playoffs), Player Safety report from George Parros, and the skate in the air off-side debate renewed.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 3, 2020
The GMs have been debating the rule change for the last three years.
After 3 years of discussions, it appears the NHL will amend the offside rule. Skate in the air…or breaking the plane is expected to be part of the change.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 3, 2020
The rule change would eliminate the confusing one-skate-is-above-the-blue-line-but-not-touching-the-ice video reviews that have taken away many goals over the years.
What an absolutely moronic rule. pic.twitter.com/U5EAfz7zB2
— Nathan Rudolph (@Nathan__Rudolph) January 15, 2020
That Giroux goal was offside. Raffl's back skate is above the ice. pic.twitter.com/TQCn3HlQjZ
— Brad Keffer (@brad_keffer) December 2, 2016
“I ultimately feel they should just take the rule out,” Connor McDavid said of the skate-off-the-ice rule in 2018. “The number of calls that are a millimeter offside 45 seconds before the play don’t have much of an effect on the goal itself. I think the fans want to see offense.”
Ironically, the rule change could cause players to be less aggressive coming into the offensive zone with speed, potentially taking away offense over the long term. Breaking the plane of the blue line could also still lead to maddening goal reviews where a goal is taken away because a player’s skate is over the blue line by the tiniest of margins.
Competition Committee must approve all potential rule changes….but it appears as if GMs have voted to amend offside rule to football-style “breaking the plane.”
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 3, 2020
The competition committee and the board of governors would have to approve any changes before they’re added to the NHL rule book for next season.
Screenshot via @Nathan__Rudolph
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