Hmmm….

What’s wrong with this picture?

If you answered, “Our fourth line is on the ice against their number one line”…you might be correct.

If you answered, “There’s seven Sharks on the ice and nobody us watching because all the officials are following the puck”…then you’re definitely correct.

I wouldn’t even call this “too many men on the ice” since the four dudes by the bench aren’t really in the play.  But an illegal substitution?  You betcha.  The center ice ref should have blown this dead…but he didn’t…oh well.

Thanks to Alyssa (and Ti) for the pic…even though I took it without asking.

***UPDATED 12:00 PM***

There was some confusion in the comments below…so let’s examine the rules:

NHL.com

68.1 Illegal Substitution – An illegal substitution shall be deemed to have occurred when a player enters the game illegally from either the players’ bench (teammate not within the five (5) foot limit, refer to Rule 74 – Too Many Men on the Ice), from the penalty bench (penalty has not yet expired), when a major penalty is being served and the replacement player does not return to the ice from the penalty bench (see 68.2), or when a player illegally enters the game for the sole purpose of preventing an opposing player from scoring on a breakaway (see 68.3 and 68.4).

74.1 Too Many Men on the Ice – Players and goalkeepers may be changed at any time during the play from the players’ bench provided that the player or players leaving the ice shall be within five feet (5′) of his players’ bench and out of the play before the change is made. Refer also to Rule 71 – Premature Substitution. At the discretion of the on-ice officials, should a substituting player come onto the ice before his teammate is within the five foot (5’) limit of the players’ bench (and therefore clearly causing his team to have too many players on the ice), then a bench minor penalty may be assessed.

71.1 Premature Substitution – When a goalkeeper leaves his goal area and proceeds to his players’ bench for the purpose of substituting another player, the skater cannot enter the playing surface before the goalkeeper is within five feet (5’) of the bench. If the substitution is made prematurely, the official shall stop play immediately unless the non-offending team has possession of the puck — in which event the stoppage will be delayed until the puck changes possession.

There shall be no time penalty to the team making the premature substitution, but the resulting face-off will take place at the center ice face-off spot when play is stopped beyond the center red line. When play is stopped prior to the center red line, the resulting face-off shall be conducted at the nearest face-off spot in the zone where the play was stopped.

Are we clear?

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