Welcome to the inaugural Blue Line Brief! This segment will act as a recap for NHL stories and action from Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. This edition will focus on some new rules regarding icing and timeouts, as well as announcing and breaking down a suspension the NHL handed out.
GM’s Nix Timeouts after Icing
It’s been reported before that NHL GMs have been conducting their yearly meetings and they’ve looked at yet another rule.
This time, unlike the offside rule, they’ve decided to change the rule they looked at.
Back in the early 2000’s, the NHL GMs voted to prohibit line changes after icing calls to produce more offense. For those new to the game, icing is when a team throws the puck to the other end so the other team has to go and chase it down, and the violation is called if the defensive team does it behind the center line.
This is done by keeping the tired lines out there, as icing is often committed to “buy a rest”, to give up a face-off in your defensive zone in order to give your tired guys a needed rest.
But, NHL coaches circumvented the rule by calling their lone timeout after icing calls.
As ratified by the GMs this year, that is no more. NHL coaches are no longer allowed to call timeout after an icing call.
This isn’t surprising, as the league is looking for ways to increase offense without drastically changing the game.
Pittsburgh’s Tom Sestito Suspended Four Games
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tom Sestito was suspended by the NHL for four games for his hit on Winnipeg’s Tobias Enstrom in a game that was very chippy to say the least.
The bad blood stemmed from a game earlier in the season where Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin hit Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler high and only got a two-minute minor. Wheeler wanted payback, fought Malkin, and then there was another fight involving Sestito.
But the fun didn’t stop there.
Late in the first period, Sestito smashed Enstrom from behind into the boards. Sestito, for his efforts, incurred a whopping 15 penalty minutes in one play, as well as getting a game misconduct, meaning he was ejected from the game.
Suspensions after ejections are commonplace in the NHL, and Sestito is known as a grinder and an agitator, so the suspension fits. While Sestito was suspended, Enstrom had to go to the hospital for facial features.
As with all things NHL, keep it here with TalkingBaws for the latest NHL news and updates.