The above goal by Evgeni Malkin will no longer be legal in the NHL, thanks to rule changes announced Thursday
The league made several changes for the 2014-15 season. Most of the changes are designed to improve player safety, including automatic suspensions for multiple game misconducts, increasing the scope of the tripping penalty, and added fines for diving.
Some of the other new rules seem to be designed increase scoring. Fewer face-offs will be moved out of the offensive zone and the teams will change ends before overtime. Teams that commit an icing infraction will now risk a two-minute penalty if they repeatedly delay the face-off process.
All in all, they are fairly standard adjustments that the NHL makes almost every year in their ongoing effort to make the game safer, higher scoring, and easier to watch.
Except for the final change.
“The ‘Spin-O-Rama’ move, as described in Section 24.2 of the 2013-14 NHL Rule Book, will no longer be permitted either in Penalty Shot situations or in the Shootout.”
This makes absolutely no sense. The shootout is, at its core, entertainment. The league felt that the public wanted done away with ties, and is 2005, the shoot was born. People love it. Look up any shootout video and you’ll see the crowd in the background going nuts.
The shootout was designed to highlight the skill and creativity of the NHL players for the benefit of the NHL fans. What could be more entertaining than a spin move?
Now the league has taken a little bit of that skillset away. Is it a big deal? Absolutely not, but it shows that the NHL has a long way to go when it comes to engaging its audience and doing what’s best for the sport.