Judging by the fact that James Mirtle (@mirtle) is trending in Toronto on twitter, it looks like he may have uncovered a nugget regarding tonight’s heartbreaking overtime loss to Norfolk.

“So that Norfolk overtime goal should not have counted – what a mess this is going to be for the AHL.”

“This particular offside rule is so unique even the Marlies and coach Dallas Eakins didn’t catch it. Quote to come.”

Eakins: “It’s a real interesting one for the referees. The puck comes out, the puck’s rimmed in…”

Eakins: “…there’s a guy that’s offside by about eight to 10 feet, the puck hits the stanchion but now he’s onside, & it goes in your net.”

From 83.4 in the AHL rulebook:

If the puck is shot on goal during a delayed off-side, the play should be allowed to continue under the normal clearing-the-zone rules. Should the puck, as a result of this shot, enter the defending team—s goal, either directly or off the goalkeeper, a player or an official on the ice, the goal shall be disallowed as the original shot was offside. The fact that the attacking team may have cleared the zone prior to the puck entering the goal has no bearing on this ruling.

The only way a team can score on a delayed off-side situation is if the defending team shoots or puts the puck into their own net without action or contact by the defending team.

The only time a goal can be scored with a player in an offside position for the scoring team is if the opposition scores on their own net. The wording “as a result of the shot” seems to encompass the possibility of a deflection. Where Eakins thought the deflection off the stanchion put the offside player back onside, that doesn’t appear to be the case. It does not matter if the shot enters the net after the player has exited the zone if the puck was originally shot in while he was offside.

Needless to say, as Mirtle put it, this could be a nightmare for the AHL; it’s a big missed call with big implications as the OT result decided if this series sat 2-1 or 3-0 after three games of the Calder Cup Final.