The National Hockey League's Board of Governors today approved a new procedure for line changes and face-offs that is expected to reduce significantly the length of NHL games. The procedure will see the puck dropped within 20 seconds of a stoppage, except during the final two minutes of a game and after goals are scored.
The following procedure will take place after a stoppage:
* Visiting team will have five seconds to make a line change.
* Home team will then have eight seconds to make a change.
* The linesman will then blow his whistle and drop the puck in five seconds.
* If the center is not at the face-off dot within the five-second allotment, then the linesman will drop the puck. However, if a player is off-side on any face-off, the linesman will issue a warning to the player and the team (coach) that any similar occurrence will result in a delay of game penalty.
* This process will not be in effect during final two minutes of a regulation time or overtime.
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