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Tagging Up With Todd White

Tuesday, 09.20.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
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Tagging Up With Todd White

It’s not the most notable rule change, that’s for sure. Talking about the new tag up offside rule might be a little like talking to Aunt Edna about the mole on her neck that’s changing colors. Although this rule change lacks the hype of the new shootouts or the elimination of the red line, it could go a long way toward making the NHL game more free-flowing and exciting.

In a nutshell, here’s how the new offside rule has changed. In the past, a player was whistled for offside any time that he crossed the opposition’s blue line before the puck. The play would stop and this would add to the amount of whistles stopping the game.

The new rule allows the team with the puck to wait for a player who is stuck inside the opponent’s zone to “tag up” before the puck is sent in. In addition to cutting down on play being stopped by a high-pitched zebra whistle, the defensive team faces increased pressure.

Click here to see an example of the new rule presented by EA Sports

Todd White, the newly acquired center from Ottawa, is a speedster who is adept at wreaking havoc in the opponent’s zone. He was able to offer insight into this new rule and how if affects a forechecking forward like him, and a team built on speed like the Minnesota Wild.

How it benefits the Wild

“We have good team speed so I think it will help us because we’ll be able to clear the zone and get right back onto the forecheck a little quicker. That’s one rule that will take some getting used to because you’re so used to knowing that some of your guys are trapped and you’ve got to wait to dump it in.”

Getting used to the new rule

"It will take a little bit a time to realize that you can fire it right back in, but when you dump it in, you’re still going to want to dump it in with a purpose.”

How this new rule will benefit the NHL

“I’m interested to see how it changes the game. I think it will add more flow and speed in the neutral zone. I think that’s all good to improve the quality and entertainment of the games.”

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