The other night I lost the puck while taking it into our attacking zone. At about the same time I lost the puck, the defender lost his footing. As he was sliding he pawed at puck until his glove was covering it completely. Then, using his hand, he slid it away from me.
Surely this can’t be legal, I thought. But I was wrong. According to the NHL rule #79:
Play will not be stopped for any hand pass by players in their own defending zone. A hand pass in the defending zone is considered to have occurred when both the player making the pass and the player receiving the pass have both of their skates inside their defending zone. Source: NHL.com
Well, I’ll be! I always knew a player was allowed to bat the puck down or snag it out of the air and drop it, but I didn’t know there was an exception when the player is in his defending zone. I’ve always played on the wing though, so give me a break.
Well there you have it. A hand pass is legal in the defending zone, as long as you don’t pass it to a teammate outside the zone. Image by Clydeorama.