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Hockey fans have heard of minor penalties and probably know about major penalties as well. But they might not be too familiar with another category of penalty in the NHL — misconducts. 

Misconducts are among the least commonly called penalties in hockey, yet they play a crucial role in officials’ ability to manage the game. 

A misconduct doesn’t result in a power play like other penalties do. They’re used more to punish a player who has committed a serious infraction. 

The Sporting News explains what a misconduct penalty is in the NHL. 

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What is a misconduct in hockey?

There are two different kinds of misconduct penalties in hockey: a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct. 

10-minute misconduct

A 10-minute misconduct is the same as putting a player in time out for 10 minutes of game play. The opposing team doesn’t get a power play, but the guilty party is forced out for the equivalent of half of a period. 

From Rule 22.1 in the NHL rulebook:

In the event of misconduct penalties to any players except the goalkeeper, the players shall be ruled off the ice for a period of ten (10) minutes each. A substitute player is permitted to immediately replace a player serving a misconduct penalty. A player whose misconduct penalty has expired shall remain in the penalty box until the next stoppage of play. 

If a 10-minute misconduct is handed out in the final 10 minutes of a game, the officials will send the player off the ice rather than have them sit in the penalty box. If the game goes beyond regulation, that player would be eligible to return once his 10 minutes are up. 

A 10-minute misconduct is typically handed out as a result of post-whistle scrums. It’s a tactic used by officials to calm the game down. 

Game misconduct

A game misconduct is much more serious. This is the penalty when a player is thrown out of a game.

Game misconducts usually are paired with five-minute majors, and typically for illegal hits. 

From Rule 23.1 in the NHL rulebook: 

A game misconduct penalty involves the suspension of a player for the balance of the game but a substitute is permitted to replace the player removed. Ten minutes are applied in the league records to the player incurring a game misconduct penalty.

Game misconducts are automatically reported to the league office and further discipline could be handed out afterward. The NHL Department of Player Safety could fine and/or suspend a player.



Read the full article here

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