NHL general managers voted Tuesday to make a slight tweak to simplify the offside rule, and will make a recommendation to the competition committee.
If the competition committee approves the change, the NHL Board of Governors must also vote for it before the change goes into effect possibly as soon as next season.
The rule would be revised to allow a skate in the air or “breaking the plane” of the blue line instead of requiring, as it presently stands, a player to have their back skate on the ice when the puck enters the offensive zone.
On NHL.com, Kris King, the league’s senior vice president of hockey operations, stated that a breakout group of GMs on Monday thought during a challenge, “we’re taking down good hockey goals because the guy’s toe is slightly off the ice or he’s in a crossing over motion where the majority of his body is still in the neutral zone but his skate is not touching the ice. ... They just felt the skate in the air really didn’t have a lot of bearing on any of these goals.”
According to NHL.com, there have been 18 coach’s challenges this season involving skate-in-the-air plays, and 14 led to goals being disallowed. Last season, through the same number of games (1,015), there were 26 of those challenges with 16 goals disallowed.
King contends that it’s not the rule being changed but “a change in the application of the rule.”
—Field Level Media