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Refusing To Play The Puck

You may want to put this in your hockey memory bank for future use…

Kerry Fraser of TSN answered a question that stumped a few readers…

In Calgary vs. Colorado on November 6, 2011, a penalty was to be called against Calgary with about 15 seconds on the clock but Calgary never touched the puck and the whistle was blown. Even the commetator stated that the rule states Calgary had to touch the puck but they didn’t how could that be a stoppage of play. The penalty was fair to call but without touching the puck how could the stoppage in play happen?

While the commentator would be correct to state play is normally stopped when the offending team touches the puck during a delayed penalty, Rule 72 - Refusing to Play the Puck - takes precedent in all cases.

(72.5 Penalty - When the Referee signals the delayed calling of a penalty to one team and a player of that team intentionally abstains from playing the puck in order to allow additional time to expire on the game or penalty time clocks, the Referee shall stop the play and order the resulting face-off at one of the face-off spots in the offending team’s defending zone.)


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink


phillyd's avatar

That’s kind of like the rule in football for not touching the punt to waste time even though the ball has stopped rolling, once it’s stopped, the referee blows the play dead. Makes sense to me.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 11/08/11 at 04:56 PM ET

Primis's avatar


Fraser’s story at the end says a lot about the problems with the official crews.

In it he relates a story of a linesman physically interfering with the play in order to achieve a desired outcome.  And Fraser lauds the official for “common sense”.  While I can appreciate what the linesman was trying to prevent, that sort of thing is just absolutely inexcusable.

So far Fraser’s explanations have done nothing really save highlight how often pride ad ego get in the way of officials calling a fair and safe game.

Posted by Primis on 11/08/11 at 06:36 PM ET

Muero's avatar

It took me a while to understand Fraser’s Nashville/Anaheim story, because I was assuming he was still talking about rule 72.5, when this was in reference to 72.4, which is as follows:

72.4 Icing – If, in the opinion of the Referee, the defending side intentionally abstains from playing the puck on an icing promptly when they are in a position to do so, he shall stop the play and order the resulting face-off on the adjacent corner face-off spot nearest the goal of the team at fault.

This would have negated the icing, allowing the fighting-prone players to stay on the ice. But the choice to play the puck is Beauchemin’s and Beauchemin’s alone. An official shouldn’t intentionally interfere with any play, ever. If Tootoo and Hordichuk started fights, they would have been suspended and Trotz would have been fined. But players and coaches have to be able to make those choices and face any consequences. Intentionally interfering with play takes those choices away from players and coaches, and should never be allowed.

Posted by Muero on 11/08/11 at 07:12 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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