The National Hockey League will be adding cameras to the blue lines starting in the playoffs, attempting to aid officials in their calls in the most important games of the season.
It was announced on Monday at a meeting that included all of the league’s general managers. The Executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell hopes the addition of the cameras leads to more consistency with officiating and aids in correctly calling coach’s challenges.
“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.”
Coach’s challenges were added last year, along with the new 3-on-3 overtime format. There has been a lot of scrutiny of the coach’s challenges, unlike the new overtime rules, as there have been lengthy delays due to the reviews and still provide inconclusive results. There have only been 55 calls overturned, out of a possible 216, through the first 1,029 games of the 2015-2016 schedule.
Another change the NHL is considering is allowing the situation room, located in Toronto, to rule on all coach’s challenges instead of the on-ice officials, similar to the Major League Baseball protocol on their replay system. The thinking behind this is to standardize goalie interference, but the general managers believe that the linesman on the ice were getting the calls correct.
The NHL was also looking at if an incorrect challenge should cost the challenging team a time out, like the National Football League, but that topic wasn’t discussed at length. In hockey, your team is only given one time out per period, making it more costly for a wrong challenge. There has been some thought that coaches could potentially use their challenge as an extra time out if they don’t have the potential of losing their time out for an incorrect challenge.
“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.”