The National Hockey League this week officially banned the “spin-o-rama” move from its penalty shots and shootouts, removing one of the more delightfully efficient (and dazzling) moves from the overtime skills competition.
Alas, it was crushed under the weight of questions about goalie interference and the puck’s forward progress. Even if it was a move that generated highlights on ESPN for the NHL, in a situation where individual skill should take precedent over a goalie’s ire.
So R.I.P., Mr. Spin-o-rama. You’re gone, but not forgotten, as we count down the top 10 spin-o-rama goals in the shootout and on penalty shots since the dawn of the new overtime format.
And here ... we ... go.
10. Martin St. Louis vs. Chicago (3/9/11)
This St. Louis goal was notable on three fronts. First, that it abused Corey Crawford for what would be the game-deciding goal. Second, because it’s a shining example of that gray area for spin moves that forced the NHL to drop them. Third, because it painted St. Louis is a giant hypocrite, as you’ll see later on a goal scored against the Lightning.
9. Josh Bailey and Ryan Strome vs. New Jersey (4/11/14)
By this time in his career, Martin Brodeur was hardly the shootout ace he was back when charity points fueled the New Jersey Devils’ place in the standings. But to see two Islanders pull the spin-o-rama in the same skills competition made him livid. As we saw when Brodeur fire the puck at Bailey after the first attempt.
8. Todd Bertuzzi vs. Phoenix (1/19/12)
This was like finding out that Vin Diesel was an accomplished ballet dancer. Bertuzzi’s pulled out the spin-o-rama several times in his career. On this one, he just owns Mike Smith before putting the puck over his glove and winning the game.
7. Pierre Marc-Bouchard vs. Chicago (12/27/10)
Oh, this is the kind of thing we’re going to miss: PMB just baffles Nikolai Khabibulin with this move, his body going one way and the puck going another. He’s also pull a spinorama move on Khabibulin during regulation play a year later, which seems mean.
6. Mason Raymond vs. Ottawa (1/10/12)
We don’t want to say that Raymond whips out the spin move so often that we’re not sure how he’ll score in the shootout otherwise, but I guess we just did. This one on Craig Anderson was especially nasty, and well worth watching for that curmudgeonly exasperation from Bryan Murray, who we’d like to hear say “exasperation” five times fast.
5. Evgeni Malkin vs. Montreal (2/7/12)
“OH MY” indeed.
If anything, the NHL should have created a rule that banned ridiculously amazing goal-scorers from using the spin move in the shootout. Because we shrug with you, Carey Price – that was just cruelty from Geno.
4. Jason Blake vs. New Jersey (12/16/08)
Scott Clemmenson looked like he was sliding into home plate here, as Blake’s speedy spin-o-rama resulted in a de factor empty net goal. Brilliant.
3. Linus Omark vs. Tampa Bay (12/10/2010)
OK, it’s not the typical spin-o-rama where the player stops on a dime in front of the goalie. It’s a spin-o-rama during the skate from center ice. Which we assume is now illegal too, but who knows?
The point is that on Dec. 10, 2010 vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning, Omark was playing his first NHL game for the Edmonton Oilers. He was already a YouTube star for his shootout exploits back in Sweden, and anticipation was high for his first shootout attempt. Then he pulls off this move and blows the roof off the place.
But this goal is memorable because it triggered the whine reflex in the Lightning locker room after the game. Remember Dan Ellis?
"It's embarrassing for him," Ellis said. "You come into a league, a respectful league like this, and you try a little move like that. It's not a very classy thing. That's just the kind of person he is."
Yes, players aren’t allowed to “try a little move like that” until they’re in their late 30s and playing for the Lightning. Everyone knows that …
2. Steven Stamkos vs. Montreal (12/30/10)
As we said earlier with Malkin, it’s abjectly cruel to see one of the best goalscorers known to man pull the spin-o-rama on a goalie that’s preparing to use his cat-like reflexes on a more traditional shot.
That said … this was brilliantly effective, and on a penalty shot no less.
1. Mikhail Grabovski vs. St. Louis (1/6/10)
Finally, this one was as smooth as silk. Grabbo goes to his backhand like he’s about to spin against the St. Louis Blues. But then he brings the puck back to his forehand and put it home.
This goal was like a cheat code.