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The Journal Gazette

Friday, October 13, 2017 1:00 am

Rules on faceoff delay, slashing to be enforced

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

During the Komets' 5-1 preseason victory Monday night over Kalamazoo, the Wings' Lane Scheidl went to the penalty box for a delay of game faceoff violation.

You may want to get used to seeing that.

Following the guidance of the NHL, the ECHL is more strictly enforcing faceoff rules to make sure that players have their bodies squared up and their sticks where they are supposed to be, in an effort to limit cheating within the faceoff circle.

If a player cheats, he is tossed from the circle. If his replacement cheats, too, then it's a penalty for delay of game like the one the Wings got at Memorial Coliseum.

“We've talked about it. It was in our training camp meetings. We've been watching the NHL games and seen the way that they've been calling it,” Komets coach Gary Graham said.

Fans at the Coliseum are known for getting antsy when the puck isn't dropped quickly, so they're going to have to be patient because it'll probably get worse before it gets better.

The ECHL is also going to more strictly enforce slashing penalties to the hands.

“They want you to have to skate and move and defend by using your legs. That's what makes it a speed game and that's what the NHL wants. Obviously, it trickles all down,” Graham said, though many NHL players were displeased with the new rules interpretations in their preseason.

“It might have been too over the top early on in the NHL preseason. But now it's settled down with what they're trying to do,” Graham said. “Now you see why they're trying to enforce it. As long as they're consistent, that's all we can ask.”

It may work out well for the Komets, who tried to build a faster roster, especially on defense, this season.

“The blatant things (like slashes), the things that affect the game, they've been calling it (in preseason),” Graham said.