74.1 Too Many Men on the Ice - Players may be changed at any time during the play from the players’ bench provided that the player or players leaving the ice shall be within five feet (5') of his players’ bench and out of the play before the change is made. Refer also to Rule 71 – Premature Substitution. At the discretion of the on-ice officials, should a substituting player come onto the ice before his teammate is within the five foot (5’) limit of the players’ bench (and therefore clearly causing his team to have too many players on the ice), then a bench minor penalty may be assessed.
When a player is retiring from the ice surface and is within the five foot (5’) limit of his players’ bench, and his substitute is on the ice, then the retiring player shall be considered off the ice for the purpose of Rule 70 – Leaving Bench.
If in the course of making a substitution, either the player entering the game or the player retiring from the ice surface plays the puck with his stick, skates or hands or who checks or makes any physical contact with an opposing player while either the player entering the game or the retiring player is actually on the ice, then the infraction of “too many men on the ice” will be called.
If in the course of a substitution either the player(s) entering the play or the player(s) retiring is struck by the puck accidentally, the play will not be stopped and no penalty will be called.
During the play, the player retiring from the ice must do so at the players’ bench and not through any other exit leading from the rink. This is not a legal player change and therefore when a violation occurs, a bench minor penalty shall be imposed.
A player coming onto the ice as a substitute player is considered on the ice once both of his skates are on the ice. If he plays the puck or interferes with an opponent while still on the players’ bench, he shall be penalized under Rule 56 – Interference.
74.2 Bench Minor Penalty – A bench minor penalty for too many men on the ice shall be assessed for a violation of this rule. This penalty can be assessed by the Referees or the Linesmen. Should a goal be scored by the offending team prior to the Referee or Linesman blowing his whistle to assess the bench minor penalty, the goal shall be disallowed and the penalty assessed for too many men on the ice.
74.3 Penalty Bench - A player serving a penalty on the penalty bench, who is to be changed after the penalty has been served, must proceed at once by way of the ice and be within five feet (5’) of his own players’ bench before any change can be made. For any violation of this rule, a bench minor penalty shall be imposed for too many men on the ice.
74.4 Deliberate Illegal Substitution - If by reason of insufficient playing time remaining, or by reason of penalties already imposed, a bench minor penalty is imposed for deliberate illegal substitution (too many men on the ice) which cannot be served in its entirety within the legal playing time, or at any time in overtime, a penalty shot shall be awarded against the offending team.
74.5 Goalkeeper in Regular Season Overtime - Once the goalkeeper has been removed for an extra attacker in overtime during the Regular season, he must wait for the next stoppage of play before returning to his position. Any attempt by the goalkeeper to return to his position prior to the next stoppage of play (“on the fly”) shall be deemed to be an illegal substitution and a bench minor penalty shall be assessed for having an ineligible player would apply.