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NHL tweaks rules on penalty shots, faceoffs, interference and misconducts

A player may now be awarded a free shot if he is fouled on a clear breakaway anywhere in the neutral or attacking zones. Previously, a penalty shot was awarded only when a player on a clear breakaway was fouled on the attacking side of the centre line.

Rules on faceoffs, interference and misconduct penalties were also tweaked.

All faceoffs must now be conducted at one of the nine dots painted on the rink. Some faceoffs, such as when a puck left the playing surface, were previously held on unmarked ice parallel to the dot nearest the place where the puck left the playing surface.

The interference rule was altered so referees can at their discretion assess a major penalty and a game misconduct when an injury results from an act of interference. Previously, only a minor penalty could be assessed for interference.

The term "gross misconduct" was eliminated from the rule book. A game misconduct will now be assessed, and accumulated game misconduct penalties can lead to fines or suspensions.

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