In recent years, the NHL has introduced new rules regarding hits to the head and pace of play that have changed the way the game is played. This season, the NHL is choosing to enforce a slightly less crucial rule.
In Wednesday night’s preseason game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina forward Alex Semin was given a two-minute penalty for delay of game because his jersey was tucked into his pants. Semin is the first player to be penalized under the rule, which will be enforced throughout the 2013-14 season.
The league contends that the “no tuck” rule has been part of the rulebook for 50 years, but officials will be strictly enforcing it for the 2013-14 season for the first time. Officials will give a warning to a player before administering the two-minute penalty. Repeated infractions could lead to a 10-minute penalty or even a game misconduct.
Much like the automatic penalty for pucks shot directly over the glass from the defensive zone, the new “no tuck” rule has the potential to be incorrectly enforced. Jerseys can change position by regular contact or in the act of a shot. Teams may have to consider new ways of anchoring their jerseys in order to avoid unnecessary penalties.