The NHL Rule Book has been updated for the 2022-23 season. There’s just one change, but it is a noteworthy one:
Referees will now be able to nullify a major penalty after video review.
Rule 20.6 previously only allowed the officials to confirm the original major penalty call or downgrade it to a minor. They now have a third option to wipe it out completely.
Here’s the updated rule, change in bold:
The Referee shall have the following options after video review of his own call: (i) confirming his original Major Penalty call; (ii) reducing his original Major Penalty call to a lesser penalty; or (iii) rescinding the original Major Penalty altogether.
The old rule also required the officials downgrade the penalty to a lesser penalty of the same infraction. That is no longer the case. A major boarding penalty could, after review, be downgraded to a minor for cross-checking.
This change does not apply to match penalty reviews.
Interesting to see the league give its officials a few more options when it comes to video reviews. Since the change only applies to major penalties — and only situations already eligible for review — there shouldn’t be a big difference in execution. The additional option, though, gives the on-ice officials a better chance to get it right via review.