For the 2017-2018 NHL season, teams are going to want to think long and hard before they throw down an offside challenge. Why? Because, if they are wrong, they will be subjected to a harsh penalty.
As of the start of the upcoming season, if a team challenges an offside and they are wrong, they will incur a two-minute penalty. Dude. Just think about that.
In many cases, the reason why you would challenge this ruling is if the game is super close and/or important. Incurring a two-minute penalty at a time like that could be devastating.
What else is happening (or not happening?):
- There will be no changes to goaltender interference reviews (thank goodness).
- Teams can’t call a timeout after icing the puck (the opposing club still can, though!)
- Teams on power plays who play the puck after a high stick will have their faceoff in the neutral zone instead of deep in their own zone.
The hope, of course, is that this will all result in a faster-paced, higher-scoring contest than we’ve been seeing recently. I know that offside challenges had become a bit of an annoyance but it will be interesting to see how this changes things and affects the decisions coaches make in these crunches.
Is it hockey season yet?