What’s PIM in hockey? (with stats)

Every game player wants to see his team win and he does his best for this purpose. Hockey players also do the same and sometimes in order to perform well they break hockey rules. When hockey players break a rule they are called for a penalty. When a penalty occurs players have to leave the game for some time and PIM calculates this time for a game and season.

What does PIM stand for? PIM stands for Penalty Infraction minutes. Mostly it is called penalty minutes. PIM is the total calculated time that a player spent in a penalty box after breaking any rule. 

Let’s have a look at other points in detail as well, like what is a PIM in hockey, the Types of penalties, etc.

What’s PIM in Hockey?

Penalties Infraction Minutes is a way used to count the penalties that a player or a team faces after breaking any hockey rule. When a player or a team breaks any hockey rule they have to spend time in a penalty box. 

PIM In hockey

A penalty is a punishment for the player or team who does not follow the hockey rules. Once a penalty is called for a player he will not be able to play with his team for a specific time period. Every penalty lasts for a different time so PIM calculates all the penalty minutes.

Effect of Penalty on a team?

A  penalty is a big loss for the team who performed the penalty. When a penalty occurs players spend a short time of period in a penalty box. The player who performs a penalty will not be able to play with his team. On the other hand, his team will be short-handed and play the game without players ( who are in penalty boxes).

Effect of Penalty on a team?

The competitive team of a short-handed team gets a chance for the power play. Power play proves a big achievement for a team because they have a high number of players than the opposing team. So, the winning chances of the team with power-play increase. When teams get a chance to power-play they select the most talented players of their team to score high.

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Penalized vs non-penalized infractions

When a player breaks any rule in a hockey game referee blows the whistle to calculate a penalty. The referee might call it a penalty or might not. Icing, hand passes, and offside are considered non-penalized infractions. Whereas, tripping, fighting, and high-sticking are penalized cases. 

The penalized player has to go to the penalty box and his team will be short-handed. As the team becomes short-handed they will play without the penalized players. This happens for a short specific amount of time. PIM calculates this time by calculating the penalty minutes of each player during a game or a season.

Five types of penalties

There are five types of penalties that we are going to discuss here:

  1. Minor penalty 
  2. Major penalty 
  3. Match penalty 
  4. Misconduct penalty 
  5. Penalty short

Minor Penalty

Penalty Players last for the shortest time period in a penalty box during the minor penalties. This is the most common type around 88% of all the penalty types. In this type of penalty, players go to the penalty box for 2 minutes and then back to the ice. A player can also get two minor penalties which would be 4 minutes penalties. Minor penalties include delay of game, slashing, boarding, hooking, and tripping.

Major Penalty 

Major penalties are called for serve infractions, specifically during dangerous conditions. This type of penalty last for 5 minutes. The penalized player will remain in the penalty box for five minutes and there will be a 5 min power-play for the non-penalized team.

Match Penalty

The match penalty also lasts for five minutes. In case of a match penalty, the player will not just go to the penalty but also be expelled from the game. Any other player on the team will play in the place of penalized player.

Misconduct Penalty

Misconduct penalties can be called during the conditions like if a player yells at a referee or causes trouble after the whistle blew. Misconduct is the longest penalty that lasts for 10 minutes. In this type of penalty, teams do not remain short-handed instead any other players play in the place of penalized players.

Penalty Shots

Penalty shots do not have any specific time infraction. Penalty shots are called due to the breakaway among skates and goalies. A penalty shot might occur if a player covers the puck or throw his stick to break up the game

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How many PIMs does a player get in a game or season?

The number of PIMs a player gets in a game or season can vary greatly depending on their role on the team and their playing style. Some players may only accumulate a few PIMs over the course of a season, while others may accumulate dozens or even hundreds.

However, here’s an example of a table for a player with PIMs in a season 2022-23:

RankPlayer NameTeamTotal PIMs (Season 2022-23)
1Nicolas DeslauriersPHI62
2Arber XhekajMTL58
3Luke SchennVAN48
4Matthew TkachukFLA45
5Max ComtoisANA44

Top 10 all-time season leaders for PIM

Here are the top 10 all-time season leaders for PIMs in the National Hockey League

1Dave SchultzPhiladelphia Flyers1974-75472
2Paul BaxterPittsburgh Penguins1981-82409
3Mike PelusoChicago Blackhawks1991-92408
4Dave SchultzChicago Blackhawks,
Pittsburgh Penguins
5Marty McSorleyLos Angeles Kings1992-93399
6Bob ProbertDetroit Red Wings1987-88398
7Basil McRaeMinnesota North Stars1987-88382
8Joey KocurDetroit Red Wings1985-86377
9Tim HunterCalgary Flames1988-89375
10Donald BrashearVancouver Canucks1997-98372

NHL Career Leaders and Records for Penalties in Minutes

Here is a table of the top 10 all-time career leaders for PIMs in the National Hockey League

Dave Tiger Williams3,9661974-1988
Dale Hunter3,5651980-1999
Craig Berube3,1491986-2003
Marty McSorley3,3811983-2000
Rob Ray3,2071989-2003
Tie Domi3,5151989-2006
Chris Nilan3,0431979-1992
Tim Hunter2,4211981-1999
Gino Odjick2,5671989-2002
Bob Probert3,3001985-2002

Conclusion: What’s PIM in hockey?  

PIM stands for penalty infraction minutes. It is a system to calculate the total number of penalties of a player or a team during a game or a season. A penalty is a punishment for a player who breaks the hockey rules. 

There are five types of penalties each of which lasts for a different amount of time. Hopes you are clear on the PIM idea and have all the necessary information about the penalty infraction minutes.

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