By Jackie Marciniak,
Sports Business Editor
With the National Hockey League’s regular season coming to a close, all are eager to see which teams clinch a playoff spot in just a few short weeks. With the games preceding the Stanley Cup final, it is crucial that each call made by the refs is correct. To ensure this occurs, the NHL is installing cameras at the blue line to make accurate offside calls. The camera provides another viewpoint for officials to review controversial offside calls that may result in a goal. In addition to reviewing offside calls, the cameras can also be used to determine if there was goalie interference on the play.
Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell announced this decision on Monday, Mar. 14 after meeting with the league’s general managers. According to Campbell, many of the GM’s were in agreement for the new review process. Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Lou Lamoriello stated that most GM’s are comfortable with the new process. “The whole objective is to get it right,” said Lamoriello.
According to TSN, there will be two cameras on each blue line, one on the boards and a second camera above the bench. These angles were recently tested during the NHL All-Star game which took place in Nashville and at two stadium series games.
This new form of review will continue into the 2016-2017 season.
In addition to the new blue line review, the NHL is still getting used to the new coach’s challenge. The beginning of the 2015-2016 season allowed coaches to challenge calls and have them reviewed by officials again. This new rule has proven valuable and helpful in making accurate calls. According to Chicago Blackhawks’ GM Stan Bowman, the coach’s challenge is helping the game become fairer. Even though coach’s challenge has overturned three of Chicago’s goals this season, he is still in favor of keeping the challenge. “My point is if we don’t have a coach’s challenge you’re no better off,” said Bowman.
The coach’s challenge process will be reviewed during GM meetings this June. Aside from a few minor changes, it seems that the coach’s challenge will stay in affect for future seasons. With the addition of the blue line cameras, it seems the NHL is well on it’s way to make sure each play is reviewed properly and fairly.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 22nd print edition.
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