‘I got warned last game’: Vancouver Canucks players react to newly proposed NHL rule changes

Photo credit:© Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Cole
3 months ago
On Tuesday, March 19th, all of the league’s General Managers met in the sunny state of Florida for their annual meeting with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. 
Last year, they discussed the salary cap increase, cap circumvention, and a potential new playoff format. The only one of these three to flourish was the salary cap increase — they also discussed expanding coaches challenges.
These changes allowed the coaches to review a “friendly-fire” high-sticking penalty and challenge the puck over the glass penalty. 
In an article by the Athletic’s Michael Russo and Sean Gentille, they said, “In the end, the GMs decided to gather more information before determining whether to bring it to the competition committee in June.”
Well, they must have gathered enough information, as this was the main topic of discussion at this year’s meetings. 
To read all of the proposed rule changes from this year’s General Managers meeting, check out this Sportsnet article.
One of the new rules proposed was on “friendly-fire” high-sticking penalties. A coach could challenge whether the player was high-sticked by his stick or his teammate’s stick and, in fact, not by their opposition. This challenge is much riskier than usual, as if unsuccessful, it would result in two penalties — exposing their team to a two-minute 5-on-3. Rick Tocchet was open with 
We asked three Canucks what they thought of this new potential rule change. 
“You never like to see penalties called that aren’t penalties,” said Tyler Myers, who has perhaps seen a few of these, mainly due to his height. “Especially ones like that, the game happens fast, and it’s tough to see what stick that could have been. To be able to go back on things like that, that are obvious, I think it’s the right way to go.”
“I don’t think that’s a major thing,” Carson Soucy added. “They’ve done a good job of reviewing it on their own, even for the four minutes (double minor penalty). But yeah, I think that’s a good rule. You don’t want to see your guy go to the box even though he didn’t high-stick someone. If you can eliminate unnecessary penalties, I think it’s good.”
Teddy Blueger brought a different perspective when asked about this change.
“You try to balance (getting the call right), but you don’t want too many stoppages and too many reviews that drags the game out. Sometimes it can sap the energy out of the game when there’s a long review. It’s tough to say if I’m in favour of it or not.”
Blueger brings up a good point: “If there was a high-stick and the refs missed it, would they be able to go back and say that was a penalty?”
Could goals be waived off due to a missed high stick that occurred earlier in the play?
Of all the rules discussed, one was put into effect immediately. This rule restricts players from hanging their leg over the boards during play. This often occurs in the midst of a change as the player on the bench waits to hop on the ice. At first, the player will be given a warning, followed by a penalty if it happens again. 
This rule was brought in right away as a referee’s leg was cut by a player’s skate whose leg was hanging over the boards. 
Carson Soucy and Teddy Blueger had this to say about the immediate rule change.
“I got warned last game,” Soucy told CanucksArmy. “It’s nice that they’ll at least warn you. It’s if they come up, you’re getting ready to hop over, and you leave your leg over (the boards). I don’t think it’ll be a big rule change; it’s pretty easy, so I think it’ll be good.”
“That would be kind of a tough one to enforce,” says Blueger. “A lot of the time, it’s behind the play, and I feel like there’s enough going on for the refs than to just be watching the guys over the boards.”
To read all of the rule changes, check out Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s thread on X.

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