No penalty seems to incense hockey fans more than the delay of game/puck over the glass call. It seems to come at the worst times and leads to crucial power plays for what is very often just a pure accident/bad luck. Well there might be a new contender.
The NHL has set some new guidelines for the upcoming season that pertain to uniforms and how they can be worn. Rule 9.5 is drawing the most interest ... and scorn. Here's how it reads:
All protective equipment, except gloves, headgear, and goaltenders' leg guards must be worn under the uniform. Should it be brought to the attention of the Referee that a player is wearing, for example, an elbow pad that is not covered by his jersey, he shall instruct the player to cover up the pad and a second violation by the same player would result in a minor penalty being assessed.
Rule 9.5 governs all protective equipment, including pants. Players are not permitted to tuck their jersey into their pants in such a manner where the top padding of the pant and/or additional body protection (affixed to the pant or affixed to the Player's body) is exposed outside the jersey. The back uniform number must not be covered or obstructed in any fashion by protruding pads or other protective padding."
I can just see it now; 3 minutes to go in a tie game and a team is given a power play because a player had his jersey tucked in. What impact a tucked-in jersey would have on playing the game is beyond me, but it could have a major impact on an individual game.
This rule is already being viewed as singling out Alex Ovechkin among others. Ovi has become familiar on the ice for his yellow skate laces and his tucked-in jersey where his back pads are exposed. Ovechkin wasn't too pleased with the rule as he told Katie Carrera of the Washington Post.
"I'm the guy who love that kind of stuff. I'm kind of upset about it, but most important thing, nobody talk to us, the players. They think it can be dangerous for somebody. I think it's kind of stupid," Ovechkin said Sunday. "My gear is not stay [near] my body so jersey always goes in. If I'm going to put jersey normally, I'm going to skate and it goes back."
Some have already grabbed on to another theory; this is the first step toward putting advertisements/sponsors on the bottom of jersey sweaters. I don't know about that but it sure seems like a completely pointless rule with an excessive penalty potential.
It shouldn't be too much to ask guys to not tuck in sweaters but if it happens by accident and is called, can you imagine the reaction? It will very likely be a penalty we see once every blue moon but at some point it will likely be called and the NHL will have a new leader for worst penalty on the books.
Here's a link to the other uniform rule changes that have added/amended.