The American Hockey League's Board of Governors approved the following rules changes at its 2014 Annual Meeting that ended Thursday at Hilton Head Island, S.C. These changes take effect starting with the 2014-15 season.
Rule 85 ("Overtime")
Sudden-death overtime will be seven minutes during the regular season, preceded by a "dry scrape" of the entire ice surface. Teams will change ends at the start of overtime and play 4-on-4 at full strength until the first whistle after three minutes of play, at which time teams will play 3-on-3 for the duration of the extra session.
If the game is still tied after overtime, a winner will be determined by a three-player shootout.
Rule 20.4 ("Major Penalties")
An automatic game misconduct will be applied to any player assessed two major penalties for fighting or three major penalties for any infraction in the same game.
Rule 9.6 ("Helmets")
A player whose helmet comes off during play will be assessed a minor penalty unless he immediately exits the playing surface or puts the helmet back on with the chin strap properly fastened.
"With the full support of the league's Competition Committee and Player Development Committee, the Board has approved these changes with the betterment of our game and the safety of our players in mind," said AHL president and CEO David Andrews.