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The AHL adopts NHL’s rule changes on tiebreakers, hits to the head

One of the great things about the AHL - and minor league hockey, in general - is how different the games can be from the ones you’ll see in the NHL. That being said, one would prefer the large group of potential NHLers to play by as many of the same rules as possible. points out that the AHL will adopt some of the bigger league’s changes this season.

First, the American Hockey League will devalue shootout wins versus regulation/overtime wins much like the NHL will next year.

The board approved an amendment to the tiebreaking procedures for AHL standings. In case of a tie in points in the standings, the first tiebreaker shall be the team having won the greater number of games, excluding games won in shootouts. The NHL Board of Governors adopted the same rule last week.

Next, the AHL will also emphasize the same changes to the way the league penalizes hits to the head.

The AHL Board also modified the rule book to reflect changes made by the NHL earlier this offseason. Most notable is the adoption of “Rule 48: Illegal Check to the Head,” which provides for a major penalty and game misconduct for a “lateral or blindside hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact.”

The story also notes that the AHL will keep its previous playoff format, for whatever it is worth.