Pair Of NHL Rule Changes Approved By League Board Of Governors

May 4, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Martin Erat (10) argues a call with officials in a game against the Phoenix Coyotes during the third period of game four in the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. The Coyotes beat the Predators 1-0. Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

The NHL Board of Governors announced two rule changes on Tuesday that deal with the illegal use of the hand on a puck. Minor penalties will be assessed on players who attempt to close a hand on a puck during play or use a hand to influence a face-off battle.

The National Hockey League announced two rules changes on Tuesday after the Board of Governor's approved the modifications. Both changes deal with a player using his hand to influence the movement of the puck.

Rule 67.2 introduces a minor penalty for any player who attempts to use his hand to conceal the puck or impede an opponent from playing the puck. This penalty will be recorded as "closing his hand on the puck." Should a player do this in his own goal crease area, the other team will either be awarded a goal or a penalty shot.

The other change is an addition to Rule 76.4, which deals with centers taking face-offs. The two players at the face-off circle are now unable to use their hand to influence the direction of the puck in order to win the drop. Should such a violation occur, the player will be given a minor penalty for a face-off violation.

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