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German hockey league institutes a David Leggio rule

The goaltender’s antics strike again.

You have to give David Leggio credit: He’s changing the world of hockey.

The Deutsche Eishockey Liga announced a rule change Wednesday that awards a goal to the opposing team if the goaltender shoves the net off its moorings during a breakaway. The move came quickly after Leggio did exactly that to prevent a one-on-one situation with Ross Mauermann of the Fischtown Pinguins last week.

Now instead of being awarded a penalty shot for the net being knocked over, which follows the current IIHF rules, the opposing team will be awarded a goal. It’s fair to say that removes any reason for a player in Leggio’s position to do what he did going forward.

This is not the first time that Leggio has pulled off this trick and forced a league to respond. Back in 2014 as a member of the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, he did the same thing to avoid a 2-on-0 breakaway, which led to that league instituting a rule that the goaltender will be ejected in addition to the awarding of a penalty shot.

It’s hard to blame Leggio much at all here. He was following the rules in both cases, and made calculated decisions to face penalty shots over the alternative. It’s actually rather brilliant, even if it’s not exactly within the spirit of how the game should be played.

Leagues can’t be having goaltenders ruining odd-man rushes regularly with plays like this, though, so you can see why they quickly move to amend their rules to prevent them.

Leggio, 33, may never make it to the NHL, but he’s still made a big impact on the hockey world in his own special way. And considering he was on Team USA’s preliminary roster for the 2018 Olympics, we can hold out hope that he’ll try this in Pyeongchang, too.