LAS VEGAS - The NHL Board of Governors made a couple of minor rule tweaks Tuesday, ones that might become major when they start handing the penalties out.
From now on, placing one's hand on the puck in the defensive zone "in order to conceal it from or prevent an opponent from playing the puck," is now a penalty.
In other words, a popular relief valve during goal mouth scrambles has now been closed.
As well, centres who use their hands to bat at the puck in trying to win a faceoff will now be penalized. What used to just be whistled down in the offensive zone will now be a minor: "Delay of Game - Face-off Violation."
Once the faceoff is complete, hand passes in the offensive zone will be blown dead but no penalty will be assessed.
The Board of Governors' other order of business was to approve the sale of Toronto Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board to "an entity comprised of Rogers Communications, Inc. and BCE, Inc., subject to agreement on satisfactory terms of League consent."