Even in the early seasons of the NHL, there were no forward passes – only backward passes! Yes, the first NHL hockey season is very different from what it is today. The lack of offside allows for more strategy when entering the zone, forcing the defense away from zone coverage and ultimately giving offensive players the space they so desperately need to focus on goals instead of first crossing a line under the ice. It`s a way for teams to stretch the ice much more effectively, as defensemen won`t just be able to play Red Rover at the blue lines because players would be able to find spaces behind them. Sufficient speed could lead to a great opportunity and pressure alone would allow a puck carrier to enter the zone much more efficiently, with options. The whole neutral zone dance changes, restoring the much-needed balance on the offensive side. To add offense, and that should be the goal of this league, it seems obvious to remove the only rule that only helps defense. It could be a lot easier with more space on the ice, but unless the league goes to 4v4 full-time (big fan, but it probably won`t happen because it means fewer jobs) or uses an international rink (hard pass, just adds unnecessary space further away from the net), it`s hard to do under the current rules. Below is a diagram of what offside looks like in an ice hockey game. The team carrying the puck pushes the puck over the center into the offensive zone (the opposing team`s defensive zone). The center makes a pass to the left winger, but the left winger is already completely above the blue offensive line. If the left winger touches the puck here, play is immediately stopped due to an offside decision.
If the left winger is already above the blue line and a pass arrives but does not touch the puck, it is a so-called delayed offside, which can be read below. Offside distractions are rare, but can still be considered offside by the referee. For example, if the defensive team tries to clear the puck and hits an official in the neutral zone and returns to the defensive zone, it can still be considered offside. In the same case, if the puck leaves the zone and is deflected into its zone by a defensive player, it is not considered offside and the attacking team has the option to continue playing the puck. This all sounds good in theory and should lead to more offense, but the reality is that no one knows what hockey would look like with a modified offside rule. Not the people who defend it, nor the people who deny it. Without seeing it in action, it`s just a utopian chimera in my head of players making beautiful plays, without the constraints of an arbitrary line or a dystopian nightmare in the mind of a critic on all the cheap goals scored by the coaches. However, there are problems. Many critics will say that it is a necessary evil that prevents cherry-picking and cheap lenses. To be fair, but I don`t see any player waiting at the blue line right now because it would put his team in a penalty situation. Maybe there`s more incentive without Blueline, because there`s no fear of offside, but I doubt it happens regularly. If that`s the case, there`s also no way it`s going to stay out of control and a defender going back, which creates more space in the offensive zone as it would briefly lead to a 4-on-4 situation.
Anyway, it`s not something you see much in basketball and they would have a free shot, hockey players would always have a goalie to deal with. In 2021, the NHL updated the offside rule to include the vertical «plane» of the blue line as offside. This means that a player is always on the side even if his skate does not touch the ice. The player may be in the air, but as long as he has a body part behind the vertical plane of the blue line, he is on his side. If the referee calls offside, the game stops and a face-off takes place in the neutral zone on the side where the violation took place. The latest change to the NHL rulebook is another battle signal for umpires when evaluating the goalie penalty. Now you are ready to play the referee from home if the controversial offside match is contested! Just be sure to lean towards the Kings when you call. In ice hockey, a game is offside if one player on the attacking team does not control the puck and is in the offensive zone, if another attacking player brings the puck into the offensive zone until the puck or all attacking players leave the offensive zone.
Simply put, the puck should not enter the attack zone after attacking players. If a player on the attacking team is in the offensive zone in front of the puck, either an immediate offside occurs or he must retire in the neutral zone. This may still be too drastic for some (especially those who are adamant about potential pickers), and so I suggest an alternative change that is even less drastic, but still helps the offense enter the zone more easily: a three-second offside violation. The idea comes from Ryan Hobart of The Leafs Nation and is a great alternative with no offside. In its origins, hockey borrowed its offside concept from football and rugby, with early play allowing only return passes and players had to be behind the puck when it was passed.