Read literally, it is very strict.
“On Friday the IIHF revealed a new rule for the upcoming season that will penalize pretty much any late hit that takes place during a game. The rule, which goes in the books as rule 153, was put in place to differentiate between late hits and interference and it is going to be incredibly strict.”
This should be interesting to watch. Clearly the IIHF is concerned about player safety, and while these kinds of rules will make Don Cherry blow a gasket, they will also change the game in a positive way in terms of making it more about the skill of the players. No more grinding down on opposing teams defense by “finishing your checks” after they’ve gotten a dump in and played the puck, no more imposing a physical presence with hit after hit after the puck has been moved, etc.
It’s a very different game when those things are likely to be a penalty. It’ll be interesting first to see if NHL players appearing in IIHF tournaments struggle to adjust, and second to see if the NHL is watching to see how it affects both the game, and player safety.
I don’t think the NHL is going to move to it quickly though, if ever. That level of change will take a generation or two.
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