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NHL rule changes: Offside changes, crosschecking crackdown ahead?

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ST. LOUIS – Puck and player tracking will be coming to an arena near you soon, but more importantly so might a new wrinkle to the NHL’s offside rule and a much-needed crackdown on crosschecking. That’s the good news. The bad news is the NHL has had absolutely no change of heart, and likely won’t, when it comes to its stance on playing in the Olympics.

Among other things, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said at his all-star state of the union address that puck and player tracking will be implemented in all 16 arenas where playoff games will be played in April and in all 31 arenas in time for next season. Senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell hinted that the league is gradually moving toward changing its offside rule that will essentially see the plane of the blueline extended, which would have players who have a skate in the air along the plane of the blueline be considered as touching the blueline.

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