Following a conference call with league officials, several Chicago Blackhawks players were surprised to learn they are not required to give the opposing team the puck inside their own blue line.
“We got a call from the guys in the war room in Toronto, expressing concern that perhaps Chicago defensemen were under the illusion they weren’t allowed to skate or pass the puck out of the zone,” said an NHL spokesperson. “Obviously, we don’t want a team going through such a critical stretch of the season handicapped by not understanding the rules.”
Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook was relieved by the news.
“It’s just so much easier to focus on always passing to a teammate,” he said. “Ever since January, I guess I’ve kind of assumed I couldn’t leave the zone with the puck.”
Teammate Michal Rozsival was also happy to hear the rules clarification.
“No more skating it to the wall and then flipping to the middle of the ice?” he asked. “You mean I can just skate forward right to the neutral zone without getting a penalty or anything? Cool!”