PIM Hockey: What is PIM in Hockey? | PIM Season Leader [2022-23]

What's PIM in Hockey

The desire to win at any cost might be dangerous. When the players are under pressure, sometimes they may break the rules to score or stop the other team from scoring. This is where the penalty part comes in. You know we as humans tend to break the rules, so while making rules, the regulators also make sure to add the penalties.

So, what does PIM mean in hockey? PIM stands for Penalty Infraction Minutes, also known as Penalty Minutes. In hockey, when any player breaks a rule, he must face a penalty. As a penalty, the player has to leave the game for some specific time. The total number of minutes the player spends in the box after breaking the rules during the game is calculated at the end of every season. These cumulative minutes are called PIM.

Here, we’ll break down PIM hockey and explore how PIM is calculated. Furthermore, what are the types of penalties, and who is the all-time season leader in PIM?

How is PIM Calculated in Hockey?

How is PIM Calculated in Hockey

PIM calculates how many minutes a player has received through the entire game. The penalty time of a player sitting in a penalty box will end if the team on the power play scores a goal, regardless of how much time is left. All these scenarios do not affect PIM calculation. Instead, PIM calculates accurately how many minutes have been assigned to a player in a game, regardless of whether he finishes the total penalty time.

Penalized Versus Non-Penalized Infractions

The referee blows the whistle whenever a player breaks some rule. But there are different types of infractions in hockey. Some are non-penalized, so you will not get a penalty for them. For example, icing, offsides, and handpasses are non-penalized infractions.

PIM in Hockey

While others are penalized, if you commit those, you will have to face the penalty. For example, tripping, high-sticking, slashing, and fighting are all penalized infractions. When a player commits a penalized penalty, he has to leave the ice and sit in the penalty box for a specified time. When the player leaves, his team becomes one short of the total players, and they are not allowed to call a substitute for this player. So, his team has to play shorthanded. It gives the other team greater chances to score.

Five Types of Penalties

The penalties are of different types, and each has a predetermined time. Let us look at them in detail.

  1. Minor Penalty
  2. Major Penalty
  3. Match Penalty
  4. Misconduct Penalty
  5. Penalty Shot
penalties in hockey

1. Minor (2 Minutes)

Includes penalties include hooking, slashing, boarding, goaltender interference, delay of game, and too many men on the ice. Least serious but most common.

2. Major (5 Minutes)

A severe type of minor penalty. It can include high sticking, causing the other players to bleed, fighting on the ice, or a dangerous body check.

3. Match (5 Minutes)

When a player intentionally injures another or tries to cause injury. This player is not allowed to play for the rest of the game. Another player from his team serves the penalty.

4. Misconduct (10 Minutes)

Longest penalty type. The team can call a substitute player in such a case. Misconduct and bad behavior against sportsmanship result in this penalty.

5. Penalty Shot (No time Infraction)

As a penalty, the other player can have an unhindered breakaway on the goalie. It results when the player slips on the breakaway.

How many PIMs does a player get in a Game or Season?

At the beginning of the NHL, there used to be a lot of PIMs. This might be because it was the start of the game and a new era. Players used to fight a lot in the games then.

But this has changed today. There is lesser fighting and breaking of rules now. In most games, some players don’t have a single PIM. Most players who get PIM don’t go further than 2 – 4 minutes.

The following table shows the top PIMs for the 2022-2023 season. (source)

RankPlayer NameTeamTotal PIMs (Season 2022-23)
1Nicolas DeslauriersPHI62
2Arber XhekajMTL58
3Luke SchennVAN48
4Matthew TkachukFLA45
5Max ComtoisANA44
Top 5 Skaters PIMs for the 2022-2023 season

Top 10 all-time season leaders for PIM

The following table shows the top all-time season leaders for PIMs. (source)

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
Top 10 all-time season leaders for PIM

NHL Career Leaders and Records for Penalties in Minutes

The following table shows the top 5 most penalty minutes NHL career leaders.

RankPlayer NameYearsPIM
1Tiger Williams1974-883971
2Dale Hunter1980-993565
3Tie Domi1989-063515
4Marty McSorley1983-003381
5Bob Probert1985-023300
most penalty minutes NHL career leaders

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when a goalie receives a PIM?

Usually, goalies are rare in a game infraction and do not receive any penalty. However, if a penalty occurs on a goalie, it will be served by another team member, which means another player will sit in the penalty box for the penalty duration.
If a goalie receives a match or miss conduct penalty, he will be ejected from the game, and the team’s backup goalie will play the rest of the game.

Is PIM a good notion or act in ice hockey?

The addition of PIM in some fantasy hockey leagues is to spice up the game. All the hockey fans love this spicy side of hockey, as not many other sports have this. PIM stats show on tracking that penalty-prone players are more liable to draft. Also, power play, when there is PIM, is a game phase where most of the goals are scored.
Fans are enthusiastic to know how many PIMS their favorite player has and his effects on the game. It’s a thing that makes fans root for their favorite goons and enjoys the exciting fight.


PIM is a stat of his type in ice hockey that allows fans to track how many penalty minutes their star players have received in a game. PIM is unique from other sports as ice hockey players spend PIM in the penalty box.

Remember not to break the rules or face the consequences. 🙂

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