One of the NHL’s most entertaining and polarizing plays has been banned.
The spin-o-rama move — made popular by greats such as Bobby Orr and Denis Savard — can no longer be used in shootouts or on penalty shots, part of a set of sweeping rule changes announced Thursday.
While many fans love the spin move, several NHL insiders countered that it made a pivotal point in the game too gimmicky.
“NHL makes spinorama illegal in shootouts? Wasn’t the point of shootouts to make the game more exciting? Don’t spinoramas make the game exciting,” tweeted fan Michael Cambria.
Countered fan Corey Clayton on Twitter: “The @NHL just killed the #SpinORama move in shootouts and penalty shots. About time. Lateral dekes only, kids.”
There’s no arguing its widespread popularity. YouTube videos of spin-o-rama plays from around the world attract thousands of hits.
While no formal reason was given for the change, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email that the potential for goalie interference on such a key play was a factor.
“This has been a concern of ours for several years,” Daly wrote. “It was discussed at the Competition Committee level, then with managers and with the Board … all bodies felt the change was in the best interest of the game.”
Other rule changes finalized Thursday after winning support at NHL/NHLPA meetings earlier this summer include:
• Stiffer punishment for diving, including a graded scale of fines for players who dive — and their coaches.
• Expansion of the goalie trapezoid — goalies will have about two more feet of space behind the net in which to handle the puck.
• Clipping, charging, elbowing, interference, kneeing, head-butting, and butt ends can now be punished with game misconducts (along with boarding and checking from behind). Any player who gets two game misconducts will be suspended automatically for one more game.
• Hockey operations gets more leeway to help on-ice officials on goal calls, including whether a player used a kicking motion to score.
• A two-minute minor will be assessed to a player called for two faceoff violations in his own end after an icing call.
• For overtime there will be a dry scrape of the ice and, if still tied, coaches no longer have to list their first three shootout selections.