Reader Question: Delayed Penalty

Today, we open a rule question for debate, knowledge, and of course, comments.

From Jason at Fox Hill Mead:

“Last year I was watching a game and a goal review situation came up. The teams played on for another minute or so, then a penalty was called on Team A. But although Team B had the puck, the whistle was blown and play was stopped. No delayed penalty. The announcers explained that in this situation – with a goal review coming and a penalty by a certain team (I’m not sure if it’s the team that might have scored or not), there is no delayed penalty. Play must be stopped and the possible goal reviewed.

Any ideas what this rule is and why it exists?”

After discussion, and consulting of our HWB referee Eddie “one eye away from a cyclops”, here is what we came up with:

A bit more information is needed to make this a little more clear. The play would be stopped right away in the event that the delayed penalty was on Team A, as well as if the goal under review would be Team A scoring.

If play would have continued and Team B scored, and the goal reviewed showed that Team A scored earlier, it negates Team B’s goal. Instead of continuing on and running into this problem, the NHL stops it right away.

The downside: If Team A’s goal review is not a goal, Team B missed out on a delayed penalty time and the possibility of scoring with an extra attacker before the penalty took into effect.

Ahh that sucks: Suppose play continued after a goal review is pending but without a delayed penalty. Team B scored before a stoppage in play, yet the review showed that Team A scored before hand. Team A is awarded the goal and Team B is more or less unhappy.

In conclusion, with the delayed penalty the NHL tries to avoid two teams scoring within the same period of time without stoppage. This, however, still is possible without any delayed penalties.

Here at Hockey World Blog, we encourage reader interaction through comments, email, facebook, or any other means you can find.


  1. Thanks for posting my question and the answer.

    It still seems odd to me that, essentially, the rules of the game change once there is a pending goal review. Someday there will be a microchip inside the puck and this won’t be an issue any more. 🙂


  2. You bring a good option Jason with a microchip, however that could be another debate in itself. Is some of the fun in sports the human element, or also known as, the human error?

    Perhaps this is a blog post later down the road.

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