More NHL Rule Changes Heading Into 2013-2014 Season

We’ve all heard about the new restrictions on the size of the goalie pads, but there are a couple more notable rule changes that I feel are important to discuss. Honestly, I personally think they’re pretty dumb. Here’s the first bunch I’m going to talk about:

Rule 9.1 Team Uniform:

“All players of each team shall be dressed uniformly with approved design and color of their helmets, sweaters, short pants, stockings, and skates. Altered uniforms of any kinds, i.e., Velcro inserts, over-sized jerseys, altered collars, etc., will not be permitted. Any player or goalkeeper not complying with this rule shall not be permitted to participate in the game. For violations, refer to 9.5.”

Who cares if something is altered in the uniforms or equipment?

Rule 9.5 Protective Equipment:

“All protective equipment, except gloves, headgear, and goaltenders’ leg guards must be worn under the uniform. Should it be brought to the attention of the Referee that a player is wearing, for example, an elbow pad that is not covered by his jersey, he shall instruct the player to cover up the pad and a second violation by the same player would result in a minor penalty being assessed.”

What?! So a player accidentally rips his jersey while he is on the bench or something and all of a sudden he’s going to be targeted by the officials who will look for any visible equipment? That’s a joke.

“Rule 9.5 governs all protective equipment, including pants. Players are not permitted to tuck their jersey into their pants in such a manner where the top padding of the pant and/or additional body protection (affixed to the pant or affixed to the Player’s body) is exposed outside the jersey. The back uniform number must not be covered or obstructed in any fashion by the protruding pads or other protective padding.”

Well, this just makes no sense to me…..There have been jersey tucks for friggin’ years and all of a sudden they don’t want you to do that anymore? What is the danger or risk of having players tuck in their jerseys?

“Rule 9.3 Player’s Jersey: Sleeves must extend into the cuff of the glove.

Oh for cryin’ out loud.

“Pursuant to Rule 9.1, Players’ pants must be worn in a uniform fashion by all Players. The pants must be one consistent color around andn throughout the leg of the pant. Pant legs are not to be ripped, cut, or torn in the leg/thigh area. Under no circumstances should a Player’s sock, undergarment, or bare leg be exposed through the pant. Players are permitted to alter their pants for comfort and performance-related reasons; however, the pant leg must remain one uninterrupted uniform color as to not expose the bare leg/sock in the thigh area.”

Hmmmmmm, I didn’t know hockey was run by Saudi Arabians where showing any kind of leg is ungodly sinful. I don’t see how any of these rules prevent something bad happening. All these “modifications” to equipment and/or uniform is mainly about comfort for the players. Some players find certain parts of equipment or uniform to be restricting, so they modify it a little bit to give them more range of movement or simply just to be more comfortable. And yes, when it comes to the jersey tuck rule, everyone is pretty much calling this the Alex Ovechkin rule. If you haven’t heard, he’s upset about it:

“I’m the guy who love that kind of stuff. I’m kind of upset about it, but most important thing, nobody talk to us, the players. They think it can be dangerous for somebody. I think it’s kind of stupid. My gear is not stay [near] my body so jersey always goes in. If I’m going to put jersey normally, I’m going to skate and it goes back.

“I think if NHL wants to make a show, this is a show. You can see the young kids look at the players. They do — like tinted visors or yellow laces — they do the same what the NHL players do,” Ovechkin said. “Right now, what are they going to do? Everybody going to be on the same page? We individuals, everybody wants to do their own thing. It’s stupid.”

That jersey tuck has become his trademark. Much like how it became a trademark for Wayne Gretzky. It became something that identified players. It became something that kids playing hockey out on the pond would do to honor their idols. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Oh and all these jersey guidelines have come from the NHL GM’s.

Ok, on to the other new rule that is a bit annoying for me. We learned last year about a new rule back then that if you instigate a fight while wearing a visor, you will receive an added unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to your already five minute major for fighting. Well, now, if you remove your helmet before a fight, that’s another two minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

…………..Umm, taking your helmet off before a fight is usually something both players mutually agree on and is seen as a courtesy to the other player. “Hey, you wanna go?” “Let’s go, no helmets.” “Ok, good luck.” “Good luck.”

There has already been an instance in the NHL preseason where this was the case and both players received a total of seven PIM’s. In my opinion, I just look at these new rules and ask, “Why?!” Is there really that much of an injury risk if the cuffs of your jersey are pulled back a little bit? In the words of Ovechkin, “We individuals. If we want to do jersey tuck, we do.” Looks like players’ rights just keep getting smaller and smaller.

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Tags: 2013-2014 Regular Season Alex Ovechkin Jersey Tuck Rule New NHL Uniform Guidelines NHL NHL Rulebook Wayne Gretzky

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