Minor rule changes coming for 2013 NHL season

Richard Wolowicz

The NHL season is set to start again after another lockout, although the rule changes this time around are much less severe.

When the NHL canceled an entire season in 2004-2005 it was with the promise that the league would return better than ever, with several new rules instituting significant changes to the game.

The addition of the shootout, the discontinuation of the "two line pass," changes to the icing rules, moving the goals further from the boards as well as a focus on obstruction and holding were all meant to speed up the game and make the NHL more exciting, thus giving fans incentive to return.

Following this latest lockout, in which a deal was reached in time for a 48-game season, the NHL will look very similar to what was seen just a season ago. There are two minor rule changes being instituted for the coming season, however.

Per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, players will no longer be able to win a faceoff by touching the puck with a hand and doing so will result in a penalty. Some of more successful faceoff experts in the league had turned to this tactic, with Steve Ott and Zenon Konopka likely the two players most affected by this rule change.

In addition, grabbing another player's facemask will also result in a minor penalty. No word yet on if that's a 15-yard penalty or not.

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