AHL goaltender David Leggio had a unique approach to defending against a two-on-none breakaway. Rather than be subject to target practice with no defensive help, Leggio opted to flip the goal cage and take an intentional penalty. The punishment? A penalty shot. Leggio figured he’d take his chances against one shooter instead of two. (He made the right call. Leggio stopped the shot.)
It was a smart move. Leggio found a form of goaltending arbitrage – where the penalty resulted in a better situation than the one he was facing without it. The AHL won’t let that happen again. They’ve closed that loophole.
AHL rule change. Gm Misconduct to offending goalie, penalty shot can be taken by anyone on ice, and replacement goalie faces the shot.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 6, 2014
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the AHL has acted quickly to address this play. Both the NHL and AHL rulebooks align when it comes to intentionally dislodging the net on a breakaway. By amending the minor league rule, they’ve effectively warned against anyone trying that move at the NHL level. It won’t happen again.
“Maybe they’ll change the rule,” Leggio told the Connecticut Post. “Name it after me, no big deal. I was just trying to make a play to help my team win.”
As far as the details of ‘the Leggio Rule’, I thought for sure they’d go with awarding an automatic goal on an intentionally-dislodged net on a breakway. Instead, the AHL has opted to punish the offending goaltender with a game misconduct. The replacement goaltender would come in cold and have to face the opposing team’s choice of shooters on the ice.
Of course, if you’re the team’s backup goaltender and you’re facing a two-on-none… Why not, right?