Rule Changes for the 2013-14 Season

Hybrid icing, smaller goalie pads, and no more jersey tucking highlight the list of new rules we'll all have to keep an eye out for in the 2013-14 season.

Here are some of the significant rule changes that you guys should be made aware of for the 2013-2014 season. The biggest changes that we'll notice are the smaller nets, smaller leg pads for goalies, and the new icing system that was tested out in the preseason and is now being applied to the regular season. It's going to be interesting to see if more players attempt wrap arounds, shoot five-hole, and make passes from behind the net and if the new icing rule seems to reduce the number of injuries in the game. There will be growing pains with some of these rules (there always are) but most of these new rules were put into place to keep players safe and to keep the game more competitive and interesting.

Let's take a look at the new rules being put into effect this season.

If you want to take a closer look at the rules, go to

  • Touch-icing system has been used since 1937.
  • The hybrid icing system is being brought in primarily to protect players from injuries that happen during violent collisions into the end boards during puck races.
  • The hybrid icing system is completely dependent upon the judgment of the linesman.


The hybrid-icing system allows the linesman to blow the play dead and call an automatic icing if he determines that the puck will cross the goal line and the defending player is not behind in the race to the end-zone faceoff dots in his defensive zone. The faceoff would go to the far end of the ice as it did with icings called in the previous system the NHL used.

If the attacking player is leading the race, the linesman is supposed to allow the play to continue.

In instances where the puck is shot around the end boards, travels down the ice and comes out the other end, the linesman has to determine who would have touched the puck first. If it's the defending player, he calls an automatic icing but if it's the attacking player he lets the play continue.

  • The rule regarding attainable pass language has been removed from the rule book.


The attainable pass rule used to give the linesman discretion to determine if the pass could have been touched. If he felt it could have been he would wave off the icing.

  • All players that have played fewer than twenty-five NHL games are required to wear a visor.
  • The additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for instigating a fight while wearing a visor has been removed from the rule book.
  • Uniforms can't be altered in any way, shape, or form. Sleeves must extend to the cuff of the gloves, pants can no longer be ripped, cut, or torn, and no equipment can be exposed.


The League has gotten the most push back on what is commonly being referred to as the 'Jersey Tuck Rule.' Any player whose jersey is tucked in will first receive a warning to untuck his jersey. If he doesn't comply, he will be given a two-minute minor penalty for delay of game.

  • Players are now given an extra two minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct if they remove their helmets before engaging in a fight.
  • The loophole that allows players to take off one another's helmets is still there.


The rule now reads: "A hit resulting in contact with an opponent's head where the head was the main point of contact and such contact to the head was avoidable is not permitted."

The old rule included the words "targeted" and "principal point of contact."

  • Goal frames were trimmed by four inches on each side, taking eight inches off the entire width of the bottom frame.
  • This creates more room for wrap around attempts and centering passes from behind the net.
  • There is some concern about players making more contact with goaltenders during wrap-arounds and other plays because the new space will encourage players to attack the net.


A goalie's leg pads can't go higher on his leg than 45 percent of the distance between the center of his knee and pelvis. The pads can go no higher than nine inches above the knee for goalies with an upper-leg measurement of 20 inches, which is roughly the average number for goalies in the NHL.

The previous rule, which was instituted prior to the 2010-11 season, stated that leg pads could not go higher than 55 percent of the distance between the center of a goalie's knee and his pelvis, and that a goalie with a 20-inch upper-leg measurement could wear a pad that goes no higher than 11 inches above the center of his knee.

So, what do you guys and gals think? Like the rules? Like some of the rules? Are there other changes to the game that should have happened but didn't? Do you think personality is being taken away from the game with the jersey tuck rule and outlawing modifications of any kind? Think we should go find Alex Frolov and sign him again now that wrap-arounds are supposedly going to be easier to do? Let me know what you think in the comments. Oh, and by the way, the NHL season starts TODAY!!!

Happy hockey everyone!

Let's go Rangers.

Thoughts on hybrid icing?

Necessary to prevent dangerous collisions and reduce injuries.122
I'm a robot therefore I am indifferent.23
Touch-icing has been around since before WW2. It should stay in the game.91
Toes are weird lookin'.30
Imperfect solution but I'm happy things are headed in the right direction.82