So, I first wrote this post thinking the play was offsides.

Guess what, I was wrong.

Here is the rule:

83.1 Off-side:  “…However, a player actually controlling the puck who shall cross the line ahead of the puck shall not be considered “off-side,” provided he had possession and control of the puck prior to his skates crossing the blue line.”

It seems that Gaborik had control when he entered the zone before the puck.

One is never too old to learn something new.

A special thanks to Michael for the photograph.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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8 replies

  1. Even with the actual rule in mind, it was close. I’d say it’s blown down as often as not.

  2. Amazing. Never knew the rule.

  3. I find this provision to be really unnecessary. There should be no ambiguity on offside calls other than the ref blinking at the wrong moment.

    Like you said Quisp, even with that extra (and extra pointless) rule, I wouldn’t call what Gaborik had as “control” until after he had crossed the line.

    I have the same issue with delayed penalties. I’m no rule buff, but my understanding of that rule was that the whistle is to be blown when the offending team gains control of the puck, and yet, I see whistles blown frequently when the offending team simply tips or touches the puck. I don’t call that control. I seem to remember a time when teams really had to fully settle the puck, or made a stick handle or two before getting the whistle. Now the whistles seem to come much quicker.

    The problem is, there is too much room for perspective there.

    Is control actually handling the puck in a controlled fashion (ie, settling it and being able to make a decisive play after actually touching it)? Or is it simply acting upon the puck intentionally with a stick, no matter the nature of that interaction (like tipping a pass, which I’ve seen blown down)?

  4. does this apply to situations when a player is spinning and bringing the puck into the zone when he is skating backwards? i seem to remember seeing linesmen blowing the whistle on those situations… but how is that any different than what this rule is stating?

  5. Isn’t control defined in the rules? I’ll have to look it up.

    57.3 Penalty Shot
    3rd Paragraph

    “Control of the puck” means the act of propelling the puck with the
    stick, hand or feet. If while it is being propelled, the puck is touched by
    another player or his equipment, or hits the goal or goes free, the
    player shall no longer be considered to be “in control of the puck”.

    Who knew? I’ll have to look at the vid again, but according to this definition, I think he had ‘control’ of the puck in time. I’m not sure why this definition of control is buried under section 7, but at least it’s in the book.

  7. While my interpretation of the rule would be that Gaborik did not have control of the puck (one hand on the stick reaching back is not my definition of control), the linesman is clearly looking directly at the play in the photo. Obviously, this did fit his interpretation of control. When discussing a ref’s viewed opinion, the ref is always right. I would only have a problem with then call if the photo had indicated the linesman either looking the wrong way or not in position to make the call. Sorry, this is a valid call.


  1. The Offside Rule « Deep Inside the Kings

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