Rule change year for USA Hockey (changes in place for 2013-2014 through 2016-2017) Rule Change Document
Listed in no order in terms of significance: (also didn't list some of the smaller changes)
--> Protective Equipment: Now acknowledging the expiration date on HECC helmets and making it a responsibility of players to get a certified (non-expired) helmet.
--> Misconducts: 2nd Misconduct penalty is now a Game Misconduct. There was no limit prior to this.
--> Certain majors will now after their 3rd occurrence will result in a suspensions, and also now will suspend a coach after 3 majors in one game by a team.
--> Officials are now required to wear half-shield visors.
--> The following penalties are now 2 minutes + 10 minute misconduct at minimum.
--> Checking from Behind, Charging, Boarding and Head Contact
--> Tripping: USA Hockey has now added language specific to "slew-footing"
I have not heard if Minnesota will change their rules for Boarding and Checking from Behind back to 2 minutes as a minimum. I would say NO on checking from behind, but YES on boarding.
I am glad to see that USA Hockey has made it mandatory for visors to be worn for officials. I don't really think the HECC-current helmets should have been done. Is that going to be on the officials to check and make sure players have them prior to a game? Just stupid I think. On the majors I think it is good to go after the majors so that players get the message to not being stupid. Even if Minnesota doesn't change their 5-minute Majors for Checking from Behind or Boarding I think it will help to really make players aware of their hitting. Also, the suspension of coaches is a good idea because if a player or players get 1 or 2 in a game I think there is some responsibility on the coach to be proactive on that end.