NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors today approved four rules changes, effective the start of the 2007-08 season.
Rule 24 -- Gross Misconduct
The term “Gross Misconduct” was eliminated from the rule book. Any act that would have been assessed a Gross Misconduct penalty will receive a Game Misconduct penalty. Accumulated Game Misconduct penalties can lead to fines or suspension.
Rule 25 -- Penalty Shot
A player may be awarded a penalty shot if he is fouled on a clear breakaway outside his defensive zone (i.e., anywhere in the neutral zone or in the attacking zone). Previously, a penalty shot was awarded only when the player on a clear breakaway was fouled on the attacking side of the center line.
Rule 56 -- Interference
Referees were given discretion to assess a major penalty and a game misconduct when an injury results from an act of interference. Previously, only a minor penalty could be assessed for interference.
Rule 76 -- Face-offs
All face-offs must be conducted at one of the nine face-off dots painted on the rink. Previously, there had been instances, such as when a puck left the playing surface, which caused the face-off to occur on unmarked ice, parallel to the dot nearest the place where the puck departed.