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Stanley Cup Final

Board of Governors approves changes to two rules

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 10:02 PM / News

NHL.com

LAS VEGAS -- The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors, at its annual June meeting, today approved changes to two rules. Rule 67 – Handling Puck implements a minor penalty for use of the gloved hand to "conceal" the puck or prevent an opponent from playing it. Rule 76 – Face-Off implements a minor penalty for a player taking a face-off using his hand to direct the puck.

Rule 67 - Handling Puck

67.2 Minor Penalty – Player

A player shall be permitted to catch the puck out of the air but must immediately place it or knock it down to the ice. If he catches it and skates with it, either to avoid a check or to gain a territorial advantage over his opponent, a minor penalty shall be assessed for "closing his hand on the puck."

New, approved wording in italics:

Any time a player places his hand over the puck while it is on the ice in order to conceal it from or prevent an opponent from playing the puck, a minor penalty shall be assessed for "closing his hand on the puck." When this is done in his own team's goal crease area, a penalty shot shall be assessed (67.4) or a goal awarded (67.5).

A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who, while play is in progress, picks up the puck off the ice with his hand.

Rule 76 - Face-off

76.4 Procedure - Centers:

Both players facing-off are prohibited from batting the puck with their hand in an attempt to win the face-off. Any attempt by either center to win the face-off by batting the puck with their hand shall result in a minor penalty. This penalty shall be announced as a "Minor Penalty for Delay of Game - Face-off Violation." Once the face-off is deemed complete (and winner of the face-off is clear), hand passes shall be enforced as per Rule 79.

It's hard to walk into that locker room and look those guys in the eye when they've played -- clearly, that was our best game we've played in the series -- and I thought we deserved a better fate tonight.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his team's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 on Sunday