The NHL rule book is a fascinating document. Some rules are clear-cut. Others require some judgment or interpretation. Still more are byzantine in their application. And, of course, there are some that flat out contradict one another.
Over at The Athletic, the always-brilliant Sean McIndoe took a deep dive into some of the interesting rules — specifically, ones that might have some unintended consequences if they truly were called ‘by the book.’
From McIndoe’s article at The Athletic:
I kind of love the NHL rulebook.
I don’t love everything in it, and I certainly don’t always love the way it’s called, especially when my team is playing. But I’ve always been fascinated by this document that’s existed for a century while being subject to constant tinkering, with brand-new rules living alongside ones that have sat untouched for decades.
Unless you’re an NHL official, you’ve probably never bothered to read through the thing. But you should, because it’s packed with oddities and loopholes and sub-loopholes. I get into some of them in my book, like the rule that can force the players to officiate their own game, and I’ve written over the years about some of the weird exceptions most fans don’t know, like how a goalie can still play the puck outside of the trapezoid if he keeps one foot in the crease.
But these days, everyone seems to be mad at the rulebook. It’s too complicated or not complicated enough, and we’re either using way too much replay review or nowhere near enough, depending on how your favorite team’s most recent game just turned out.