BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — The NHL will put cameras on the blue lines beginning in the playoffs to aid officials on offside calls when games matter most.
The decision was announced Monday on the first day of meetings among the league’s general managers. Executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell says the tweak should lead to more consistency and give officials another angle to review if an offside call is challenged following a goal.
“That’s the one in-season tweak we can make,” Campbell said. “It’s not a rule change, it’s just helping make the process better.”
The coach’s challenge was added as a video-replay option along with the change to 3-on-3 overtime last year. While the success of the new overtime format has been well documented, the coach’s challenge has drawn more criticism for the lengthy delays of the video reviews and for the inconclusive results. Only 55 of 216 coach’s challenges were overturned through the first 1,029 games.
One of the other options being discussed is allowing the situation room in Toronto to take over all coach’s challenges from the on-ice officials in order to better standardize goalie interference, but the consensus among the general managers was that the linesmen were getting the calls right the majority of the time.
Campbell pointed out that of nearly 100 goalie interference calls this season, league officials in Toronto might have disagreed with the officials six or seven times.
As far as whether or not a failed coach’s challenge should cost that team a timeout, like the NFL does, that wasn’t pursued quite as vigorously. NFL coaches are given three timeouts per half, so that is not as costly as losing your only timeout in a period of hockey, although there has been some concern over whether a coach could use a challenge as a de facto extra timeout.
“I don’t really understand that line of thinking,” said Peter Chiarelli, team president and general manager of the Edmonton Oilers. “It was more about — we went through a lot of the 50/50 calls and those are going to happen and if those aren’t reviewed then there are still going to be disgruntled parties on either side.
“I look at the 50/50 calls, those calls that could go either way, as the cost of doing business to have this in place and to have the right calls on the egregious mistakes.”