It’s a fine line, though. That’s what the competition committee is going to be tasked with figuring out: what’s ok and what isn’t?
Cross checking is really hard to untangle. Some plays are clearly, 100% uncalled cross checks. I think we all agree that kidney shots have no place in the game. But a. every single defenseman does it right now, and b. defining the penalty in such a way that other plays don’t get called can be tricky.
Is it a cross check if you use your stick (while stationary) to push an opposing player who backs in to you? Sometimes. Depends on the force.
How about if you’re backchecking and you go to lift the puck carrier’s stick but he curls away. You don’t want to give up that easily so you give him a little shot in the back just to screw up his timing or throw him a little off balance. Cross checking? Sometimes. Depends on how exactly you deliver the shot.