November 09, 2010
TORONTO -- Let's just say Dale Tallon faced a challenge when he proposed a coach's challenge on goal-related plays Tuesday at the NHL general managers meeting.
"We had a lot of conversation about it, but it's a dead issue," said Tallon, GM of the Florida Panthers. "Simple as that."
Did he have any support?
"A little bit," Tallon said. "Not very much."
"Not enough," he said.
Tallon's proposal was sparked by an incident on Oct. 26, when forward Colton Orr smacked into Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen while scoring the winning goal in a 3-1 victory for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Orr should have been called for goaltender interference, and the goal should not have counted.
Leafs GM Brian Burke called Tallon's proposal an "unbelievable overreaction." Other general managers were concerned by how a coach's challenge would work and what it would cover.
"I just think there's so much involved in it," Tallon said. "There's a pretty involved process. When do you do it? Timing. What if it goes four minutes beyond? Do you do it for off-sides? High sticking? So it could expand into a bigger thing than it should be. They're concerned about probably taking more time and adding more minutes to the games, et cetera."
The general managers also discussed the enforcement of Rule 48, which bans lateral hits in which the head is targeted or the principle point of contact. There have been controversial no-calls and suspensions, but overall the GMs feel the league is headed in the right direction.
"We feel the league is doing the right thing to protect players in that situation," Atlanta Thrashers GM Rick Dudley said. "You have to protect them. You have to do it without changing the basic structure of the game. I think that's been done."
Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero said the GMs would see how things evolve over the course of the season and address the issue again at their March meeting to "see how we can tweak it and make it better and make it right."
"It's a work in progress, and I think the main thing for me from last year at this time, it's the protection of the players we're looking for," Shero said. "It's the evolution of trying to make this right. You see with the NFL now how difficult it is. It's a fast game, and to make those decisions on-ice for the officials is very difficult."