You can’t use an opponent’s stick.  That’s against the rules.

In most cases, you can use your teammate’s stick, but possibly not if they’re over 6-foot-6.

St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko was given a penalty for an illegal stick during Friday night’s game against the Avalanche after he lost his stick and rejoined the play with one from Blues’ defenseman Colton Parayko.



The 6’6″ Parayko plays with an oversized stick, due to his height.  That stick is not legal for Tarasenko.

Rule 10.3 allows a player to use a teammate’s stick.

A player who has lost or broken his stick may receive a replacement stick by having one handed to him from his own players’ bench; by having one handed to him by a teammate on the ice; or, by picking up his own unbroken stick or that of a teammate’s from the ice.

However, the actual stick in question has to be legal for the player using it. From Rule 10.1:

No stick shall exceed sixty-three inches (63″) in length from the heel to the end of the shaft nor more than twelve and one-half inches (121/2″) from the heel to the end of the blade.

Requests for an exception to the length of the shaft (only) may be submitted in writing to and must be approved by the League’s Hockey Operations Department prior to any such stick being approved for use.

Only players 6’6” tall or more will be considered for exception. Maximum length of a stick granted an exception under this rule is sixty-five inches (65”).

Parayko has been granted an exception by the league to play with an oversized stick.

It was an impressive call by the officials.  For referee Kenrick Nicholson to catch that Tarasenko was using Parayko’s oversized stick.

Though the ref got it technically right, the NHL later clarified the application of the rule on the situation: no penalty should have been called on the play.

“It is a minor penalty to play with an exempt stick so technically ref got it right. But the NHL does not want that penalty called in that situation. It does not want refs nor players to need presence of mind to know who’s using who’s stick or if it’s exempt during play. It could be penalized if the bench had handed Parayko’s stick to Tarasenko or if Tarasenko had returned for his next shift with it.”

“Moving forward the NHL will only call a penalty under those circumstances when play is stopped and when challenged by opposition. Even if Colorado had challenged last night, the NHL would not want that to be called a penalty in the manner it unfolded.”

Tough call, and tough break for the ref on the application of that particular rule.  At least we’ve received clarification for the next time that happens.