Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Opening Night in the NHL

Posted by: Michael Russo under On the road, NHL news, Wild training camp Updated: October 6, 2011 - 8:47 AM

Finally, it's here -- Oct. 6, Opening Night in the NHL.

Three games are on tap tonight. The Boston Bruins will have a little banner raising at the building formerly known as Fleet Center at 6 p.m. when they host Jaromir Jagr and the Philadelphia Flyers. At 6 p.m. also, Minnetonka's Jake Gardiner will make his NHL debut at home when the Toronto Maple Leafs host rival Montreal. And at 9 p.m. on Versus, the Sidney Crosby, Nick Johnson-less Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Vancouver Canuckleheads, minus injured Ryan Kesler.

Kent Youngblood will be covering the Wild's practice today as I work ahead on some stories, so he may be on later to blog if there's news and notes from the X.

Here is some preview stuff from the NHL, including new rules you may find helpful on the bottom:

TEAMS’ RECORD IN SEASON OPENERS THROUGH 2010-11

PCT TEAM GP W L T/OT GF GA OPENING NIGHT
0.694 Colorado Avalanche 31 18 6 7 123 87 Saturday vs.
Detroit
0.639 New Jersey Devils 36 19 9 8 125 104 Saturday vs.
Philadelphia
0.618 Montreal Canadiens 93 49 27 17 317 232 Thursday at
Toronto
0.613 Edmonton Oilers 31 17 10 4 96 87 Sunday vs.
Pittsburgh
0.611 Ottawa Senators 18 8 4 6 57 51 Friday at Detroit
0.611 Tampa Bay Lightning 18 10 6 2 60 50 Friday at
Carolina
0.600 Buffalo Sabres 40 22 14 4 127 114 Friday vs. Anaheim
0.581 Phoenix Coyotes 31 16 11 4 106 90 Saturday at San
Jose
0.581 St. Louis Blues 43 21 14 8 151 138 Saturday vs.
Nashville
0.575 Vancouver Canucks 40 21 15 4 134 121 Thursday vs.
Pittsburgh
0.550 Minnesota Wild 10 5 4 1 24 19 Saturday vs.
Columbus
0.547 Philadelphia Flyers 43 20 16 7 125 118 Thursday at
Boston
0.535 Dallas Stars 43 17 14 12 147 136 Friday vs. Chicago
0.530 Chicago Blackhawks 84 35 30 19 230 245 Friday at
Dallas
0.523 Los Angeles Kings 43 18 16 9 127 127 Friday vs. NY
Rangers
0.512 Detroit Red Wings 84 36 34 14 241 240 Friday vs. Ottawa
0.500 Winnipeg Jets 11 5 5 1 29 29 Sunday vs. Montreal
0.500 Washington Capitals 36 17 17 2 123 124 Saturday vs.
Carolina
0.500 Boston Bruins 86 35 35 16 248 254 Thursday vs.
Philadelphia
0.500 Nashville Predators 12 6 6 0 32 32 Friday at
Columbus
0.500 Columbus Blue Jackets 10 4 4 2 26 25 Friday vs.
Nashville
0.500 Florida Panthers 17 7 7 3 49 52 Saturday at NY
Islanders
0.494 New York Rangers 84 35 36 13 241 236 Friday at Los
Angeles
0.488 Pittsburgh Penguins 43 18 19 6 142 146 Thursday at
Vancouver
0.468 Toronto Maple Leafs 93 35 41 17 275 280 Thursday vs.
Montreal
0.447 Calgary Flames 38 12 16 10 124 129 Saturday vs.
Pittsburgh
0.371 Carolina Hurricanes 31 8 16 7 81 108 Friday vs.
Tampa Bay
0.368 New York Islanders 38 9 19 10 104 127 Saturday vs.
Florida
0.368 San Jose Sharks 19 5 10 4 54 68 Saturday vs.
Phoenix
0.235 Anaheim Ducks 17 4 13 0 31 57 Friday at Buffalo


SEASON OPENERS THAT WERE PLAYED AT HOME

PCT TEAM GP W L T/OT GF GA
0.857 Florida Panthers 7 5 0 2 27 16
0.833 Minnesota Wild 6 5 1 0 22 13
0.789 New Jersey Devils 19 12 1 6 77 45
0.719 Colorado Avalanche 16 10 3 3 65 43
0.688 Washington Capitals 16 11 5 0 60 47
0.688 Edmonton Oilers 24 15 6 3 80 65
0.684 Phoenix Coyotes 19 12 5 2 75 59
0.684 Montreal Canadiens 57 34 13 10 203 119
0.680 Buffalo Sabres 25 15 6 4 95 74
0.667 Tampa Bay Lightning 12 7 3 2 45 30
0.647 St. Louis Blues 17 10 5 2 68 51
0.636 Dallas Stars 22 12 6 4 82 63
0.634 Chicago Blackhawks 41 20 9 12 123 108
0.620 Boston Bruins 54 28 15 11 191 159
0.612 Detroit Red Wings 49 27 16 6 146 112
0.611 Philadelphia Flyers 27 15 9 3 89 73
0.607 Vancouver Canucks 28 15 9 4 89 72
0.571 Columbus Blue Jackets 7 3 2 2 18 16
0.571 Nashville Predators 7 4 3 0 20 15
0.563 Winnipeg Jets 8 4 3 1 24 21
0.542 Los Angeles Kings 24 10 8 6 77 65
0.525 Calgary Flames 20 8 7 5 72 59
0.521 New York Rangers 24 10 9 5 80 70
0.509 Toronto Maple Leafs 57 23 22 12 175 159
0.500 New York Islanders 6 2 2 2 19 17
0.500 Anaheim Ducks 4 2 2 0 10 15
0.478 Pittsburgh Penguins 23 9 10 4 67 65
0.471 Carolina Hurricanes 17 5 6 6 39 51
0.455 San Jose Sharks 11 4 5 2 35 41
0.429 Ottawa Senators 7 2 3 2 21 21


SEASON OPENERS THAT WERE PLAYED ON THE ROAD

PCT TEAM GP W L T/OT GF GA
0.727 Ottawa Senators 11 6 1 4 36 30
0.667 Colorado Avalanche 15 8 3 4 58 44
0.538 St. Louis Blues 26 11 9 6 83 87
0.514 Montreal Canadiens 36 15 14 7 114 113
0.500 Vancouver Canucks 12 6 6 0 45 49
0.500 Los Angeles Kings 19 8 8 3 50 62
0.500 Pittsburgh Penguins 20 9 9 2 75 81
0.500 Tampa Bay Lightning 6 3 3 0 15 20
0.483 New York Rangers 60 25 27 8 161 166
0.471 New Jersey Devils 17 7 8 2 48 59
0.467 Buffalo Sabres 15 7 8 0 32 40
0.438 Philadelphia Flyers 16 5 7 4 36 45
0.430 Chicago Blackhawks 43 15 21 7 107 137
0.429 Dallas Stars 21 5 8 8 65 73
0.417 Phoenix Coyotes 12 4 6 2 31 31
0.403 Toronto Maple Leafs 36 12 19 5 100 121
0.400 Nashville Predators 5 2 3 0 12 17
0.371 Detroit Red Wings 35 9 18 8 95 128
0.361 Calgary Flames 18 4 9 5 52 70
0.357 Edmonton Oilers 7 2 4 1 16 22
0.350 Washington Capitals 20 6 12 2 63 77
0.344 New York Islanders 32 7 17 8 85 110
0.333 Winnipeg Jets 3 1 2 0 5 8
0.333 Columbus Blue Jackets 3 1 2 0 8 9
0.297 Boston Bruins 32 7 20 5 57 95
0.250 San Jose Sharks 8 1 5 2 19 27
0.250 Carolina Hurricanes 14 3 10 1 42 57
0.250 Florida Panthers 10 2 7 1 22 36
0.154 Anaheim Ducks 13 2 11 0 21 42
0.125 Minnesota Wild 4 0 3 1 2 6


ACTIVE NHL HEAD COACHES IN SEASON OPENERS

PCT Head Coach G W L T/OT
1.000 Renney, Tom, Edm. 7 7 0 0
1.000 Sacco, Joe, Col. 2 2 0 0
1.000 Payne, Davis, St.L 1 1 0 0
1.000 Boucher, Guy, T.B. 1 1 0 0
0.750 Tortorella, John, NYR 8 6 2 0
0.750 Tippett, Dave, Phx. 8 5 1 2
0.667 McLellan, Todd, S.J. 3 2 1 0
0.633 Martin, Jacques, Mtl. 15 8 4 3
0.577 Ruff, Lindy, Buf. 13 7 5 1
0.571 Laviolette, Peter, Phi. 7 3 2 2
0.500 Trotz, Barry, Nsh. 12 6 6 0
0.500 Babcock, Mike, Det. 8 4 4 0
0.500 Sutter, Brent, Cgy. 4 2 2 0
0.500 Bylsma, Dan, Pit. 2 1 1 0
0.462 Murray, Terry, L.A. 13 6 7 0
0.458 Maurice, Paul, Car. 12 4 5 3
0.444 Vigneault, Alain, Van. 9 3 4 2
0.438 Wilson, Ron, Tor. 16 6 8 2
0.429 Julien, Claude, Bos. 7 3 4 0
0.333 Carlyle, Randy, Ana. 6 2 4 0
0.333 Boudreau, Bruce, Wsh. 3 1 2 0
0.333 DeBoer, Peter, N.J. 3 1 2 0
0.292 Quenneville, Joel, Chi. 12 1 6 5
0.000 Arniel, Scott, CBJ 1 0 1 0
--- Dineen, Kevin, Fla. - - - -
--- MacLean, Paul, Ott. - - - -
--- Noel, Claude, Wpg - - - -
--- Capuano, Jack, NYI - - - -
--- Gulutzan, Glen, Dal. - - - -
--- Yeo, Mike, Min. - - - -

LONGEST WINNING STREAKS IN SEASON OPENERS
9 1978-1986 St. Louis Blues (9-0-0)
9 1953-1961 Montreal Canadiens (9-0-0)
8 1947-1954 Detroit Red Wings (8-0-0)
8 1987-1994 Boston Bruins (8-0-0)
8 1981-1988 Colorado Avalanche (8-0-0)
7 1971-1977 Pittsburgh Penguins (7-0-0)
7 1926-1932 New York Rangers (7-0-0)

Longest Active Streaks
5 2006-2010 Phoenix Coyotes (5-0-0)
3 2008-2010 Winnipeg Jets (3-0-0)
3 2008-2010 St. Louis Blues (3-0-0)


LONGEST UNDEFEATED STREAKS IN SEASON OPENERS
17 1963-1979 Montreal Canadiens (13-0-4)
15 1940-1954 Detroit Red Wings (14-0-1)
12 1987-1998 Boston Bruins (9-0-3)
10 1996-2006 Dallas Stars (7-0-3)
9 1978-1986 St. Louis Blues (9-0-0)
9 1980-1988 Colorado Avalanche (8-0-1)
9 1989-1997 New Jersey Devils (7-0-2)
9 1994-2002 Los Angeles Kings (6-0-3)
9 1953-1961 Montreal Canadiens (9-0-0)
8 1977-1984 Philadelphia Flyers (5-0-3)

Longest Active Streaks
5 2006-2010 Phoenix Coyotes (5-0-0)
4 2007-2010 Toronto Maple Leafs (2-0-2)
3 2008-2010 St. Louis Blues (3-0-0)
3 2008-2010 Dallas Stars (1-0-2)
3 2008-2010 Buffalo Sabres (2-0-1)
3 2008-2010 Winnipeg Jets (3-0-0)

LONGEST WINLESS STREAKS IN SEASON OPENERS
12 1982-1993 Detroit Red Wings (0-8-4)
10 1997-2007 St. Louis Blues (0-6-4)
8 1987-1994 Carolina Hurricanes (0-6-2)
8 1945-1952 Toronto Maple Leafs (0-4-4)
8 1939-1946 Boston Bruins (0-5-3)
7 1948-1954 New York Rangers (0-6-1)
7 1994-2000 Calgary Flames (0-4-3)
7 1972-1978 Dallas Stars (0-7-0)
7 1993-1999 Anaheim Ducks (0-7-0)
7 1981-1987 Los Angeles Kings (0-4-3)
7 1971-1977 St. Louis Blues (0-4-3)
7 1993-1999 New York Rangers (0-4-3)

Longest Active Streaks:
4 2007-2010 Anaheim Ducks (0-4-0)
4 2007-2010 Chicago Blackhawks (0-2-2)
3 2008-2010 Ottawa Senators (0-2-1)
3 2008-2010 New York Islanders (0-1-2)

LONGEST LOSING STREAKS IN SEASON OPENERS
7 1993-1999 Anaheim Ducks (0-7-0)
7 1972-1978 Dallas Stars (0-7-0)
6 1949-1954 New York Rangers (0-6-0)
6 2002-2008 Calgary Flames (0-6-0)
6 1999-2005 Pittsburgh Penguins (0-6-0)
5 1979-1983 Carolina Hurricanes (0-5-0)
5 1942-1946 New York Rangers (0-5-0)
5 1988-1992 Toronto Maple Leafs (0-5-0)

Longest Active Streaks:
4 2007-2010 Anaheim Ducks (0-4-0)
2 2009-2010 Minnesota Wild (0-2-0)
2 2009-2010 Boston Bruins (0-2-0)
2 2009-2010 Ottawa Senators (0-2-0)

FASTEST GOALS FROM THE START OF A TEAM'S SEASON OPENER

Date Teams/Score Scorers/Team Time
10/11/1986 MIN 4 at QUE 4 Kent Nilsson, MIN 0:10
10/07/1981 WAS 3 at BUF 5 Ryan Walter, WSH 0:12
10/31/1943 CHI 1 vs TOR 4 Bill Mosienko, CHI 0:13
10/07/1981 CHI 5 vs PIT 5 Denis Savard, CHI 0:13
10/30/1943 TOR 5 vs NYR 2 Gus Bodnar, TOR 0:15
10/04/1991 CGY 9 vs EDM 2 Theo Fleury, CGY 0:16
10/10/1974 BUF 9 vs BOS 5 Danny Gare, BUF 0:18

MOST GOALS IN A SEASON OPENER

5 Joe Malone, MTL 12/19/1917 (at OTT)
5 Harry Hyland, Mtl. Wanderers 12/19/1917 (vs TOR)
5 Babe Dye, TOR 12/16/1922 (vs MTL)
4 Reg Noble, TOR 12/19/1917 (at Mtl. Wanderers)
4 Rick Blight, VAN 10/06/1976 (at PIT)
4 Greg Adams, VAN 10/08/1987 (vs STL)
4 Chris Kontos, TB 10/07/1992 (vs CHI)

ACTIVE PLAYERS WHO HAVE SCORED 3+ GOALS IN A SEASON OPENER
3 Paul Stastny, COL 10/03/2007 (vs DAL)
3 Derek Stepan, NYR 10/09/2010 (at BUF)

MOST ASSISTS IN A SEASON OPENER
5 Greg Adams, NJ 10/10/1985 (at PHI)
5 John Cullen, PIT 10/05/1990 (at WSH)

MOST POINTS IN A SEASON OPENER

Player/Team Date G-A--PTS
Kevin Stevens, PIT 10/05/1990 at WSH (2-4--6)
Joe Malone, MTL 12/19/1917 at OTT (5-0--5)
Harry Hyland, Mtl. Wanderers 12/19/1917 vs TOR (5-0--5)
Babe Dye, TOR 12/16/1922 vs MTL (5-0--5)
Andy Bathgate, NYR 10/07/1955 at CHI (1-4--5)
Phil Esposito, BOS 10/10/1973 vs VAN (3-2--5)
Gilbert Perreault, BUF 10/10/1974 vs BOS (3-2--5)
Michel Goulet, QUE 10/04/1983 vs NYI (1-4--5)
Greg Adams, NJ 10/10/1985 at PHI (0-5--5)
Tom Fergus, TOR 10/09/1986 vs MTL (3-2--5)
John Cullen, PIT 10/05/1990 at WSH (0-5--5)
Steve Reinprecht, PHX 10/05/2006 vs NYI (1-4--5)

MOST CAREER POINTS IN SEASON OPENERS

G A PTS
Jaromir Jagr 9 21 30 (active player)
Ray Bourque 9 21 30
Wayne Gretzky 9 18 27
Joe Sakic 11 16 27
Adam Oates 1 24 25
Al MacInnis 8 17 25
Phil Esposito 11 14 25
Michel Goulet 14 11 25
Gordie Howe 8 17 25
Dale Hunter 5 19 24

 

APPROACHING NHL MILESTONES

1,000 GAMES PLAYED
Joe Thornton (SJ) needs five
Hal Gill (Mtl) needs six
Dainus Zubrus (NJ) needs 17
Vaclav Prospal (CBJ) needs 22
Mike Knuble (Wsh) needs 32
Patrik Elias (NJ) needs 39
Olli Jokinen (Calg) needs 40
Matt Cullen (Min) needs 42
Tomas Holmstrom (Det) needs 48
Derek Morris (Phx) needs 54
Chris Phillips (Ott) needs 55
Saku Koivu (Ana) needs 62
Steve Staios (Cal) needs 64
Vincent Lecavalier (TB) needs 66
Zdeno Chara (Bos) needs 72
Craig Rivet (CBJ) needs 77

1,000 GAMES COACHED
Barry Trotz (Nash) needs 16
Terry Murray (LA) needs 17 vs. Wild!

1,600 CAREER POINTS
Jaromir Jagr (646-953—1,599) needs one

500 CAREER GOALS
Jarome Iginla (Calg) needs 16


PLAYERS IN NEW CITIES

Anaheim -- D Mathieu Carle, C Andrew Cogliano, G Jeff Deslauriers, D Kurtis
Foster.
Boston -- D Joe Corvo.
Buffalo -- D Christian Ehrhoff, RW Ales Kotalik, LW Ville Leino, D Robyn
Regehr.
Calgary -- D Scott Hannan, F Lee Stempniak.
Carolina -- G Brian Boucher, D Tomas Kaberle, LW Alexei Ponikarovski, RW
Anthony Stewart.
Chicago – LW Andrew Brunette, LW Dan Carcillo, G Ray Emery, D Sami Lepisto,
D Steve Montador, D Sean O'Donnell, D Rostislav Olesz.
Colorado -- G J.S. Giguere, C Chuck Kobasew, D Shane O'Brien, G Semyon
Varlamov.
Columbus -- C Jeff Carter, D Radek Martinek, C Vinny Prospal, D James
Wisniewski.
Dallas -- RW Radek Dvorak, RW Eric Godard, RW Michael Ryder, D Sheldon
Souray.
Detroit -- D Mike Commodore, G Ty Conklin, D Garnett Exelby, D Ian White.
Edmonton -- D Cam Barker, C Eric Belanger, LW Ben Eager, LW Darcy
Hordichuk, LW Ryan Smyth, D Andy Sutton.
Florida – LW Sean Bergenheim, RW Matt Bradley, D Brian Campbell, LW Tomas
Fleischmann, D Ed Jovanovski, RW Tomas Kopecky, G Jose Theodore, RW Scottie
Upshall, RW Kris Versteeg.
Los Angeles -- LW Simon Gagne, C Mike Richards, LW Ethan Moreau.
Minnesota – LW Dany Heatley, D Mike Lundin, C Darrol Powe, RW Devin
Setoguchi.
Montreal – G Peter Budaj, LW Erik Cole.
Nashville -- RW Niclas Bergfors, D Brett Lebda, D Tyler Sloan, RW Zach
Stortini.
New Jersey -- RW Trent Hunter, W Cam Janssen, RW Petr Sykora.
NY Islanders – RW Jay Pandolfo, C Marty Reasoner, LW Brian Rolston.
NY Rangers – D Brandon Bell, D Tim Erixon, C Brad Richards, LW Mike Rupp.
Ottawa -- G Alex Auld, LW Nikita Filatov, C Zenon Konopka, RW Mark Parrish.
Philadelphia -- G Ilya Bryzgalov, D Andreas Lilja, RW Jaromir Jagr, C
Brayden Schenn, RW Wayne Simmonds, C Max Talbot, RW Jakub Voracek.
Phoenix -- C Boyd Gordon, C Daymond Langkow, G Curtis McIlhinney, C Patrick
O'Sullivan, G Mike Smith, LW Raffi Torres.
Pittsburgh -- C Steve Sullivan, D Boris Valabik, C Jason Williams.
San Jose -- D Brent Burns, C Michal Handzus, RW Martin Havlat, D Jim
Vandermeer, D Colin White, C Brad Winchester.
St. Louis -- C Jason Arnott, RW Jonathan Cheechoo, G Brian Elliott, D Kent
Huskins, RW Jamie Langenbrunner, C Scott Nichol.
Tampa Bay -- G Mathieu Garon, D Bruno Gervais, D Matt Gilroy, C Ryan
Shannon.
Toronto -- C Tim Connolly, D Cody Franson, D Jon-Michael Liles, C Matthew
Lombardi, C David Steckel.
Vancouver -- RW Byron Bitz, C Marco Sturm.
Washington -- RW Troy Brouwer, C Jeff Halpern, D Roman Hamrlik, G Tomas
Vokoun, RW Joel Ward.
Winnipeg -- C Andrew Gagnon, RW Eric Fehr, LW Tanner Glass, C Kyle
Wellwood.

 


PLAYER SAFETY INITIATIVES

NEW DEPARTMENT OF PLAYER SAFETY
At the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
announced the establishment of a new Department of Player Safety to be
headed by Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations
Brendan Shanahan. It will monitor all NHL games from its video room in New
York focusing solely upon player safety and specifically upon those
incidents that might require supplemental discipline.

MISSION STATEMENT
“We are committed to making the game as safe as possible for our
players while preserving the intensely competitive and passionate nature of
hockey.”

MANDATE
1. Work with GMs, the Competition Committee and the NHLPA to continue
to look at rules that can better protect our players.
2. Focus on safety issues related to players’ equipment and the
playing environment.
3. Responsible for administering supplemental player discipline.

 

APPROACH
The Department of Player Safety will monitor all NHL games from its
video room in New York focusing solely upon player safety and specifically
upon those incidents that might require supplemental discipline. It will
impose suspensions that will not only serve as an effective deterrent but,
combined with improved communication and education, result in the desired
effect of changing player behavior.

CURVED ACRYLIC SYSTEM
The new Curved Acrylic System is being installed in all 30 NHL rinks.
The system uses a curved piece of acrylic in combination with movable posts
to protect the player from blunt force trauma. The curved acrylic prevents
the sudden stop of the player by deflecting him, and the movable posts help
to absorb the energy from the hit.

The original concept was developed by Vancouver Canucks Sports &
Entertainment in March 2011 and presented to the League. The design was
evaluated, modified by the League's engineers and adopted by the League for
installation in all 30 arenas for the 2011-12 regular season.

ACRYLIC SHIELDING IN ALL RINKS
For the 2011-12 season, the League has required that all seamless
glass systems be converted to the more flexible acrylic systems. The
weight of acrylic panels is less than half of the seamless panels.

CONCUSSION EVALUATION AND MANAGEMENT PROTOCOL
In January, 2010, the NHL became the first professional sports
league to adopt a League-wide Concussion Evaluation and Management
Protocol. The Protocol has been revised several times since its adoption.
In March, 2011, the NHL became the first pro sports league to adopt a
mandatory protocol calling for removal of a player from a game for medical
evaluation.

The current NHL Concussion Evaluation and Management Protocol:

Pursuant to the League-wide Concussion Protocol, any player who
displays one or more of the determined signs of concussion, or who reports
one or more of the determined concussion symptoms (either on-ice or at any
subsequent time), shall be removed as soon as possible from the playing
environment by the Team Athletic Trainer. The player shall then be
evaluated by the Team Athletic Trainer or the Team Physician in a
distraction-free environment using a comprehensive standardized acute
concussion assessment tool. The Team Physician shall make the determination
whether the player is diagnosed with a concussion. If, after the evaluation
noted above, the Team Physician determines that the player is not diagnosed
with a concussion, the player may return to play. In rare circumstances,
it may be appropriate for the Team Physician to return a player diagnosed
with a concussion to play in the same game if he has complete recovery of
symptoms and is judged by the Team Physician to have returned to his
neuro-cognitive baseline.


REVISED PLAYING RULES

Rule 41- Boarding
41.1 Boarding - A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player who
checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the
opponent to hit or impact the boards violently or dangerously. The severity
of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the
discretion of the Referee.

There is an enormous amount of judgment involved in the application of this
rule by the referees. The onus is on the player applying the check to
ensure his opponent is not in a defenseless position and if so, he must
avoid or minimize contact. However, in determining whether such contact
could have been avoided, the circumstances of the check, including whether
the opponent put himself in vulnerable position immediately prior to or
simultaneously with the check or whether the check was unavoidable can be
considered. This balance must be considered by the referees when applying
this rule.

Any unnecessary contact with a player playing the puck on an obvious
"icing" or "off-side" play which results in that player hitting or
impacting the boards is "boarding" and must be penalized as such. In other
instances where there is no contact with the boards, it should be treated
as "charging."


Rule 48 - Illegal Check to the Head
48.1 Illegal Check To The Head – A hit resulting in contact with an
opponent's head where the head is targeted and the principal point of
contact is not permitted. However, in determining whether such a hit should
have been permitted, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the
opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or
simultaneously with the hit or the head contact on an otherwise legal body
check was unavoidable, can be considered.

48.2 Minor Penalty – For violation of this rule, a minor penalty shall be
assessed.

48.3 Major Penalty – There is no provision for a major penalty for this
rule.

48.4 Game Misconduct – There is no provision for a game misconduct for this
rule.

48.5 Match Penalty – The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match
penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately
injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head.

If deemed appropriate, supplementary discipline can be applied by the
Commissioner at his discretion.

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