BOSTON (CBS) — One of the NHL’s most polarizing new rules could look different next season – if not disappear altogether.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said on Saturday that the NHL’s Competition Committee would meet on Sunday to address the league’s rules regarding offside challenges, which have led to many controversial goal reviews since being implemented before the 2015-16 season.
“Hot-button topics, of course one’s going to be the offside, the video review,” said Kypreos. “The conversation can range from eliminating it altogether to changing the way you challenge it.”
Offside review rules made headlines after Game 1 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, during which a Nashville Predators goal was overturned after referees determined the play was offside – despite a lack of conclusive replay evidence. The alleged offside occurred nearly 30 seconds prior to the goal and was inconsequential to the Penguins’ ability to stop the goal from happening.
The Bruins lost goals to offside challenges on several occasions throughout the 2016-17 season, including in Game 4 of their opening-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Ottawa Senators. They also had a goal upheld in their favor on an offside challenge during the series.
If the Competition Committee wants to avoid eliminating offside reviews entirely, then it could look into making challenges harder to make. As currently constituted, there is no time limit on when coaches can challenge offside or how far back referees can go in the play to determine whether offside took place.
It’s led to many detractors cracking jokes about challenging for an offside that happened hours, days, even years ago.
According to Kypreos, slashing penalties was also expected to be on the agenda at the Competition Committee’s meeting. The Penguins’ Sidney Crosby was the subject of controversy when he slashed the Senators’ Marc Methot on the glove, causing a severe finger injury. There was no slashing penalty called on the play.
Former Bruins GM and current Oilers president of hockey operations Peter Chiarelli was reportedly among the meeting’s attendees, as was NHL executive vice president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell.