Table of Contents:
What Is PIM in Hockey?
In most cases, penalties result in the player who committed the offense being within the penalty area and not being able to take part in the game, even if the team is “shorthanded” or with one less player on the ice for an amount of time, dependent upon the seriousness of the offense.
This is also called “patch kill,” for the team with a shorthanded player or a power play for the team that is in opposition. Power plays offer an enormous benefit in hockey since when an opponent’s team can skate more than their team in opposition, this means that there is always available, resulting in more scoring opportunities.
In addition, with a player in the penalty box, there’s more space on the space on the ice, which means more opportunity for hockey players to make better decisions and make better passes.
The majority of teams have specific personnel combinations to play teams that are playing power plays as teams typically put together their best shooters and passers to the play in the hope of making as many scoring opportunities as they can. Power plays are efficient for teams with the advantage of the man as approximately 20% of teams’ goals during a season are scored via this play.
A penalty that is not taken at the right time can drastically alter the course and result of a game. So let’s look at different kinds of penalties one can expect to see in a hockey match.
How is PIM Calculated in Hockey?
The PIM stat determines the number of penalty minutes each player can take in a hockey game. Players can be released out of the penalty zone earlier if the team on powerplay scores during an event. These situations don’t impact how the PIM calculation.
In contrast, PIM tracks strictly how many penalty minutes are allocated to each player regardless of whether the player has served the full duration of the time.
Types of Penalties and Length in Minutes (PIM)
Minor penalties are two minutes long and constitute the smallest amount of imposed penalty. Penalties falling into this category include tripping, roughing, slashing and interference, delaying the game, and more.
The unique thing about a two-minute penalty is that if the opponent scores while the player is inside the penalty box (powerplay), the remainder of the penalty will be nullified.
Although the player is out of the box before their PIM statistics will be based on the entire 2 minutes.
Double Minor Penalties
A double-minor penalty is two penalties of 2 minutes each given to the same person in the same game. This usually occurs due to the high sticking of the play, which causes the player in the other team to lose blood.
If a player receives as a double-minor, they must remain in the court for the entire duration of four minutes, unless there is a goal scored on the powerplay. If the team that is ahead scored in the first penalty, then the powerplay timer is reduced to two minutes. If they score again within the next two minutes, the penalty is canceled.
Major penalties are five minutes in length. They are more serious offenses, such as cross-checking, boarding spearing, cross-checking, and the like.
The most well-known major is typically associated with fighters, often called “5 for fighting”. But, as it requires two people to engage in combat, any penalties will be canceled out.
When a player is penalized for one of the majors, they have to be allowed to serve the full five minutes, regardless of the penalty team they are scoring against.
Misconducts and Match Penalties
If a player is given a 10-minute misconduct penalty must remain inside that box for the entire period. There is no powerplay available to the team that is in opposition unless a major or minor penalty followed the offense.
If a major or minor penalty was also imposed the other player is required to spend the entire time in the case of the violator. The offender will be allowed to return after the time has expired for 10 minutes, and the game is declared dead.
In the case of Match Penalties For Match Penalties, the player infraction is exiled for the duration of the match. There are no specific penalty minutes (PIM) for penalties in a match.
Sometimes, supporters are confronted with a decision by the official who results in the penalty shot. A penalty shot can be granted when the opposing team blocks players from shooting towards the goalie who had an open route to the goal.
Another known scenario in which the penalty shot could be given is when the player on the defense (aside from the goalie) stops the puck from entering the center.
If a penalty shot is given, the penalized player won’t be able to add PIM in their stats.
How many PIMs can an athlete get during an entire season or in a game?
Today’s NHL players face many fewer penalties than players from years ago. The way of playing has changed, and the standard of play accepted as acceptable has also changed. One of the primary reasons is that the fight in the NHL is a lot less. In the 80s, there were fights during most games. Nowadays, there isn’t much combat in the NHL. This has reduced penalties.
Most players will receive no PIMs, with approximately half a dozen players on each side ranging from 2 and 4 minutes. If they go over four types, they will engage in fights; they will be considered high.
Penalized or Non-penalized Violations
If you violate the rules in hockey, the referee likely makes a whistle. But, if you break the rules, occasionally the player will be penalized, but other times, they’re not.
For example, non-penalized offenses include offsides, icing, or hand passes.
More severe offenses like the tripping of a person, high-sticking, slashing, and fighting can be punished.
Penalized means you to be required to sit within the penalty area for a certain duration of time. Your team will not be allowed to replace a player.
This means that your team has been playing with a shorthanded (have just one less person on the ice) for the duration you’re in the penalty area.
There are various types of penalties that a player could be subject to. Each of them has distinct amounts of time that they can be imposed to them that will add to the sum of the PIMs of the player and the team.
Do Players Get PIM for Penalty Shots?
The most severe penalty that can be incurred during a hockey game is penalty shots. The penalty shot happens when an opponent interferes in a way that is illegally the breakaway attempt.
For instance, a player could hold another skater, attack them with their hands or trip them on a breakaway damaging their shot. There aren’t any PIMs penalties for penalty shots. Instead, the person who attempts breakaway has an unimpeded shot in the goal, just like they receive in shootouts.
Is PIM a Good Thing in Hockey?
Many hockey enthusiasts believe that the high PIM is a positive statistic because of its popularity in fantasy hockey. As with all fantasy sports, the fantasy hockey league awards team managers points based on the team’s performance. The most well-known hockey statistics are goals made, shots on goal (SOG), Powerplay goals (PPG) and plus-minus games-winning goals (GWG), and more.
But some fantasy hockey leagues have PIM as a fascinating stat to add some spice to an existing league. The tracking of PIM implies that players in fantasy hockey should select players who are prone to penalties (or goons) for their team. These rules make NHL players such as Trevor Wilson or Brady Tkachuk, who can score and fight a lot more attractive.
Who Serves a Goalie Penalty?
Goalies are known as “hotheads”; however, they seldom serve their punishments. If a goalie receives an offense of major, minor, or misconduct penalty, they will be served by a different player on the team playing when the incident was committed. If a goalie gets an offense in the game or match penalty, he will be removed, and the backup goalie is allowed to play.
Which Players Have the Most PIM?
David “Tiger” Williams leads the hockey players with penalty minutes. In his 14-year career, he accumulated more than 3971 penalties. In 962 games, the average was just under four minutes of penalty time per game.
Dale Hunter is a distant second in penalty minutes for an individual athlete. In his lengthy career, he earned 3565 penalties minutes. But, unlike Williams, Hunter was much more productive on the field. He had a plus/minus of +101, 323 goals, and 697 assists. He also scored ten shorthanded goals during his career, proving the efficiency of an all-round player.
Canadian goalie Ron Hextall, who spent most of his time in the Philadelphia Flyers, leads all goalies with a career PIM of 569. Hextall also holds the single-season PIM record by a goalie. This includes 113 penalties minutes. Despite his habit of committing penalty minutes, Hextall was an accomplished goalie. He recorded a .895 save percentage and 23 shutouts during his career, making him one of the top goalies in history.
History of PIM
When the NHL was first established in 1917-18, the players could be penalized for a 3 minute (minor) or a 5-minute penalty (major). The player was exiled from the game for the duration of the penalty. However, teams weren’t obliged to use shorthanded. An additional player from the team substituted the victim.
In 1918-19 NHL regulations were modified that prohibited the player who was penalized from not being replaced, and teams that were in opposition were given powerplays for major and minor penalties. In addition, penalty-seeking players were required to complete the full duration of the offense, regardless of the number of goals they scored.
In 1921-22 minor penalties were cut by 3 mins to just 2 minutes. The 1923-24 season brought match penalties in which teams is required to play shorthanded for the duration of that time.
We saw penalties shots being introduced in 1934-35.
It wasn’t until the 1956-57 season when players with minor penalties could be allowed to return to the ice following the powerplay goal. This resulted from an incident in which Montreal Canadiens Jean Beliveau managed to rack up a hat-trick during the same power play. The powerplay was the consequence of a minor infraction. In that game, it took Beliveau just forty-four seconds to get three goals. 
Conclusion About PIM in Hockey
In short, PIM is an impressive statistic in hockey that allows fans to track the number of penalty minutes their favorite players get. It is a unique statistic because hockey is among the few sports players are required to sit in the penalty box.
Additionally, fantasy league managers prefer to include PIM to increase the scoring. The presence of PIM allows fans to root on their favorite players and also celebrate fights in the game. But, there is an ongoing debate among fantasy hockey players if this is a bogus statistic!