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Rule Changes For 2015-16 Season

by National Hockey League / Colorado Avalanche

LAS VEGAS – The National Hockey League Board of Governors today approved rules changes for the 2015-16 season that will change the overtime format to 3-on-3 for five minutes, expand the use of video review to include a Coach's Challenge within a limited scope of scenarios and amend face-off protocol.

The Board acted on the series of recommendations it received from the NHL/NHLPA Competition Committee and the NHL General Managers.

3-on-3 Overtime

1. Teams play an additional overtime period of not more than five (5) minutes with the team scoring first declared the winner and being awarded an additional point.

2. The overtime period will be played with each team at 3-on-3 manpower (plus goaltender) for the full five-minute period.

3. Manpowers during overtime will be adjusted to reflect the situation in the game, but at no time will a team have fewer than three (3) skaters on the ice during the overtime period. For example, if a team enters the overtime period on a power play, manpower would be adjusted from 5 on 4 at the end of regulation to 4 on 3 at the start of overtime. If a minor penalty is assessed during overtime, the teams will play 4 on 3. If a second minor penalty is assessed to the same team during overtime, the teams will play 5 on 3.

4. If the game remains tied at the end of the five (5) minute overtime period, the teams will proceed to a three-round shootout. After each team has taken three shots, if the score remains tied, the shootout will proceed to a "sudden death" format.

5. Clubs who pull their goaltender for an extra attacker during the overtime period (other than on a delayed penalty) will be subject to the potential forfeiture of their one (1) point earned for the tie at the end of regulation in the event the opposing team scores into the empty net.

6. At the end of regulation, the entire ice surface will be shoveled and the goalies will change ends. There will be no further ice surface maintenance during the balance of overtime period. Following the overtime period and before the shootout, the ice surface will be shoveled again, and the goalies will change ends.

Expanded Video Review

This expanded video review is intended to be extremely narrow in scope and the original call on the ice is to be overturned if, and only if, a determination is made by the on-ice Official(s) (in consultation with the Toronto Video Room) that the original call on the ice was not correct. If a review is not conclusive and/or there is any doubt whatsoever as to whether the call on the ice was correct, the on-ice Official(s) will be instructed to confirm their original call.

Coach's Challenge

1. A team may only request a Coach's Challenge to review the following scenarios:

a) "Off-Side" Play Leading to a Goal. A play that results in a "GOAL" call on the ice where the defending team asserts that the play should have been stopped by reason of an "Off-Side" infraction by the attacking team.

b) Scoring Plays Involving Potential "Interference on the Goalkeeper"

(i) A play that results in a "GOAL" call on the ice where the defending team asserts that the goal should have been disallowed due to "Interference on the Goalkeeper," as described in Rules 69.1, 69.3 and 69.4; or

(ii) A play that results in a "NO GOAL" call on the ice despite the puck having entered the net, where the on-ice Officials have determined that the attacking team was guilty of "Interference on the Goalkeeper" but where the attacking team asserts: (i) there was no actual contact of any kind initiated by an attacking Player with the goalkeeper; or (ii) the attacking Player was pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending Player causing the attacking Player to come into contact with the goalkeeper; or (iii) the attacking Player's positioning within the goal crease did not impair the goalkeeper's ability to defend his goal and, in fact, had no discernible impact on the play.

2. A team may only request a Coach's Challenge if they have their time-out available and the Coach's Challenge must be effectively initiated prior to the resumption of play.

3. If the Coach's Challenge does not result in the original call on the ice being overturned, the team exercising such challenge will forfeit its time-out.

4. If the Coach's Challenge does result in the call on the ice being overturned, the team successfully exercising such challenge will retain its time-out.

League Initiated Review

1. In the final minute of play in the 3rd Period and at any point in Overtime (Regular Season and Playoffs), Hockey Operations will initiate the review of any scenario that would otherwise be subject to a Coach's Challenge.

2. Hockey Operations will continue to initiate and be responsible for the review of all goals subject to Video Review under Rule 38.4. Where a Coach's Challenge is available on a scoring play potentially involving "Interference on the Goalkeeper" or "Off-Side," Hockey Operations will, as an initial and threshold matter, determine that the puck entered the net and is a good hockey goal before the play will be subject to further review by means of a Coach's Challenge (or, in the final minute of play or in Overtime, a review initiated by Hockey Operations). If a team requests a Coach's Challenge but Video Review under Rule 38.4 renders such Challenge unnecessary, then the Challenge will be deemed not to have been made and the timeout will be preserved.

Additional Notes Regarding Scenarios Subject to Expanded Video Review

1. The League will make available in all arenas, technology (either a handheld tablet or a television or computer monitor) that will allow on-ice Officials, in conjunction with the Toronto Video Room, to view replays if, and only to the extent, a formal Coach's Challenge has been initiated (or, in the final minute of play or in Overtime, a review by Hockey Operations is initiated). To the extent practical, the replays made available to the Officials on the ice will be the same replays that are being utilized by the Toronto Video Room.

2 Once a Challenge has been initiated (or, in the final minute of play or in Overtime, a review is initiated by Hockey Operations), the Toronto Video Room will immediately establish contact with the Referee (or Linesman) responsible for the call on the ice via the headset and will inquire and discuss with the Referee (or Linesman), prior to the Referee (or Linesman) examining any video, the following: (a) the Referee's (or Linesman's) "final" call on the ice; and (b) what the Referee (or Linesman) observed on the play.

3. The on-ice call will then be reviewed simultaneously by the appropriate on-ice Officials at ice level and by Hockey Operations in the Toronto Video Room using any and all replays at their disposal. After reviewing the play and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, the appropriate on-ice Officials will then make the "final" decision on whether to uphold or overturn the original call on the ice. Once the decision is made, the Referee will inform the Penalty Timekeeper/PA Announcer and will make the announcement on the ice.

Plays Potentially Involving An "Off-Side" Infraction

1. The standard for overturning the call in the event of a "GOAL" call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an "Off-Side" infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.

2. Goals will only be reviewed for a potential "Off-Side" infraction if: (a) the puck does not come out of the attacking zone again; or (b) all members of the attacking team do not clear the attacking zone again, between the time of the "Off-Side" play and the time the goal is scored.

3. In the event a goal is reversed due to the Linesman determining that the play was "Off-Side" prior to the goal being scored, the clock (including penalty time clocks, if applicable) will be re-set to the time at which the play should have been stopped for the "Off-Side" infraction.

Plays Potentially Involving "Interference on the Goalkeeper"

1. The standard for overturning the call in the event of a "GOAL" call on the ice is that the Referee, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that the goal should have been disallowed due to "Interference on the Goalkeeper," as described in Rules 69.1, 69.3 and 69.4.

2. The standard for overturning the call in the event of a "NO GOAL" call on the ice is that the Referee, after reviewing any and all replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that the goal on the ice should have been allowed because either: (i) there was no actual contact of any kind initiated by the attacking Player with the goalkeeper; or (ii) the attacking Player was pushed, shoved or fouled by a defending Player causing the attacking Player to come into contact with the goalkeeper; or (iii) the attacking Player's positioning within the crease did not impair the goalkeeper's ability to defend his goal and, in fact, had no discernible impact on the play.

3. The Video Review process on these plays (whether initiated by way of a Coach's Challenge or by Hockey Operations in the final minute of play or in Overtime) will be utilized exclusively for purposes of confirming or overturning a "GOAL" or "NO GOAL" call on the ice on scoring plays potentially involving "Interference on the Goalkeeper." The Video Review process on these plays -- regardless of its outcome -- will not be utilized for any other purpose, including, specifically, for assessing minor or major penalties for Goalkeeper Interference.

Rule 76.4, Face-Offs – Paragraph 2

When the face-off takes place at any of the nine face-off spots, the players taking part shall take their position so that they will stand squarely facing their opponent's end of the rink, and clear of the ice markings (where applicable). The sticks of both players facing-off shall have the blade on the ice, within the designated white area. At the eight face-off spots (excluding center ice face-off spot), the defending player shall place his stick within the designated white area first followed immediately by the attacking player. When the face-off is conducted at the center ice face-off spot, the visiting player shall place his stick on the ice first.

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