The long-rumored coach’s challenge is one step closer to becoming a reality in the NHL after the competition committee jointly run by the league and NHL Players’ Association recommended they be implemented on a limited basis involving goals connected to goalie interference and offside plays.
Barring any unforeseen developments, the limited-in-scope coach’s challenge rumored for years to be coming to the NHL will be implemented in the 2015-16 season, thanks in part to a recommendation from the league and NHL Players’ Association’s joint competition committee Thursday.
The competition committee – comprised of four NHL GMs, one owner and four players – recommended league coaches be permitted to challenge goals that involve goaltender interference and offside plays with a video review. Goalie interference challenges would be considered by on-ice officials, while offside challenges would be addressed by the NHL’s video review center in Toronto. And if a coach has already used his timeout, he is unable to challenge any play.
In addition, the competition committee endorsed a change to the faceoff rule in which, during all faceoffs in the defensive zone, the player from the defensive zone team must be first to put his stick down. During faceoffs that occur at center ice, the current rule requiring the visiting team’s player put his stick down first will remain the same.
All competition committee recommendations must be ratified by the NHLPA executive board and NHL board of governors.
The controversial delay-of-game penalty for a defensive-zone player shooting the puck over the glass was debated by the competition committee, but not included in the list of plays eligible for a challenge/video review. The committee also failed to come to a consensus on changing the NHL’s overtime structure to mitigate the number of shootouts that end games, but agreed to continue dialogue on the subject in the immediate future.
The committee was co-chaired by the NHLPA’s Mathieu Schneider and the league’s Colin Campbell. Players involved were New Jersey Devils Michael Cammalleri and Cory Schneider, Penguins veteran Daniel Winnik and St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk; GMs on the committee included Arizona’s Don Maloney, Detroit’s Ken Holland, Edmonton’s Peter Chiarelli and Nashville’s David Poile; and Flyers czar Ed Snider was the lone owner involved in the process.