A penalty given to a team or player for various infractions that in the referee's opinion or as stated by the rules, slows or stops the game from proceeding in a normal manner.
It is rare to see delay of game penalties for players deliberately freezing pucks or deliberately shooting pucks out of play. Part of the reason is the rareness of such plays, but also because referees err on the side of caution when trying to read the mind of what a player was intending to do.
However, there are situations where the rulebook calls for automatic delay of game penalties to be called for certain infractions. For example when a player from his defending zone shoots the puck outside the playing area; when a player pushes the goal off in his defending zone; when a goaltender comes out of the crease and covers the puck when he could have played it; or when a team causes two consecutive face-off violations.
One of the most exciting plays in hockey, the penalty shot, is awarded when a defensive team's player covers, picks up or gathers the puck in the goal crease. In 2006, this resulted in the first penalty shot goal by Chris Pronger in Stanley Cup Final history when Niclas Wallin committed the crime in game one.