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NHL issues rule changes coming off 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

New rules will expand the league’s video review system as well as adding a new rule regarding safety.
Boston Bruins' Noel Acciari lies on the ice after being checked by St. Louis Blues' Tyler Bozak during the third period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston Bruins' Noel Acciari lies on the ice after being checked by St. Louis Blues' Tyler Bozak during the third period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Published Jun. 26, 2019

TAMPA — St. Louis’ Tyler Bozark trip of Boston’s Noel Acciari seconds before St. Louis’ David Perron scored helped give the Blues a 2-1 win in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals — and a 3-2 series lead over the Bruins.

It also helped set off a reaction that will change the game.

The NHL has decided plays like that one will be reviewable as part of an expanded video review system, according to a report by NBC Sports.

Related: MORE LIGHTNING: NHL Draft: Lightning trade J.T. Miller to Vancouver

On Thursday, the NHL’s general managers decided to lift limitations on how many times a coach can challenge a play during the game for goalie interference, potential offsides and missed calls that could have resulted in a stoppage of play before a goal is scored.

The NHL is addressing concerns raised after this year’s playoffs where several notable penalties were missed.

“The theory is, we don’t want lots and lots of challenges. We don’t want to disrupt the flow of the game,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week before the NHL Draft in Vancouver.

“We only want challenges where it’s crystal clear that an egregious mistake has been made,” Bettman added. “If it’s, well, maybe it could be, maybe it shouldn’t, then there shouldn’t be a challenge.”

Related: MORE LIGHTNING: NHL Draft: Who did the Lightning pick?

The general managers also decided officials will have discretion to review double-minor penalties for high-sticking, which will help determine if the player was struck. Another change includes limiting the number of faceoffs in the neutral zone. The report said that, “faceoffs will now be held in the offensive zone even if the attacking team was responsible for the puck going out of bounds.”

Teams will also have the choice of which offensive zone faceoff circle they want to use on power plays.

In regard to safety, the league decided to implement a rule where players have to leave the ice or retrieve their helmet if it comes off in the middle of a play. The only exception is if the player is in a position to play the puck when their helmet comes off. Players who intentionally knock off an opponent’s helmet will be issued a minor penalty for roughing.

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.

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