NHL competition committee backs coach’s challenge, balks at 3-on-3 OT

NHL competition committee backs coach’s challenge, balks at 3-on-3 OT

The NHL/NHLPA Competition Committee is recommending that coach’s challenges for “goals that may have resulted from goalie interference or offside plays” be adopted as a new rule.

From the Committee’s news release:

The video review process and all decisions on goals where goaltender interference may have occurred will be the responsibility of the Referees at ice level, in consultation with the NHL’s Situation Room in Toronto; similarly, goals that may have resulted from an offside play will be reviewed and determined by the on-ice officials, in consultation with the NHL's Situation Room in Toronto. In order for a coach to make a challenge, the team must have its timeout available.

Now, this is a little confusing, because the way the recommendation is written it appears that the review would only be intended for “goals that resulted” from these illicit acts.

But we received clarification from the NHL on this: The Coach’s Challenge can be used for both goals that are scored and goals that are waved off due to goalie interference. (Offside is pretty much confined to plays on which a goal is scored.)

Obviously this is huge news for the NHL, as expansion of video review has been a point of much contention within its ranks. There are fears it would be overused; the Committee clearly states that you need to have a timeout to use it.

(One wonders about the ramifications of this: Do you keep the timeout on a successful challenge? Lose it regardless? Get a two-minute delay of game minor for wasting everyone’s time if the goal stands?)

The other fear: The replay would be expanded too greatly to cover things that it shouldn’t. Offside is a black-and-white rule, so no problem there. Goalie interference on plays that result in the puck entering the net is also vey specific.

It will be interesting to see how the on-ice officials work with the Situation Room on sussing out these calls. Who makes the ultimate call if there isn’t a consensus?

Plenty of questions, but a great move forward for a rule that should have been approved years ago.

Also from the Committee:

* The Committee recommends a change to the face-off rule, whereby, for all face-offs in the defensive zone, the player from the defensive zone team must put down his stick first. For face-offs at center ice, the rule will remain the same, requiring that the visiting team player put his stick down first.

This was a rule recommended by Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis, and frankly if Ron Francis believes it’ll generate more goal scoring and less defensive puck possession, then we best listen to what Ron Francis has to say.

* The committee had “considerable discussion of changing the current overtime format” but no consensus was reached. Which means some people really dig 3-on-3 overtime and some people do not.

The NHLPA and NHL will continue discussions in the coming weeks on potential changes. The Committee intends to make a decision on overtime later this month, which means there’s still a chance we could see 3-on-3 if, say, the GMs really push for it as an anti-shootout mechanism.

The NHLPA was represented by Players Michael Cammalleri (New Jersey Devils), Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils), Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis Blues) and Daniel Winnik (Pittsburgh Penguins), while David Backes (St. Louis Blues) was unable to attend. The NHL was represented by Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider and General Managers David Poile (Nashville Predators), Ken Holland (Detroit Red Wings), Don Maloney (Arizona Coyotes) and Peter Chiarelli (Edmonton Oilers). The Competition Committee is co-chaired by Mathieu Schneider and Colin Campbell.

The recommendations from the NHL/NHLPA Competition Committee still need Board of Governors approval this month.