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NHL clamps down on clock malfunctions

Feb 17, 2012, 9:07 AM EDT

doughty point 3

Helene Elliott of the L.A. Times reports the NHL will now keep a closer eye on arena clocks — especially in the final minute of a game — after investigating a timing snafu that gifted the Kings a win over Columbus earlier this month.

On Feb. 1, a scoreboard malfunction (the clock stalled with 1.8 seconds left) at the Staples Center allowed the Kings to score the game-winning goal when time should’ve already expired. The incident caused an uproar throughout the league and kickstarted an investigation by Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior vice president of hockey operations.

Campbell’s findings?

[He] said Thursday that the clock’s maker, Daktronics, had examined the clock and found “no defects.” He also said the off-ice crew working that game had been interviewed and that he was “completely satisfied” with the clock operator, whom he would not identify.

The investigation spurred Campbell to institute clock regulations for all NHL arenas, to prevent a similar error from occurring.

“We have initiated a number of steps to ensure there will be no clock issues in all arenas in the NHL,” Campbell told The Times in an email. “We are observing all ‘last minutes’ of each period to make sure there are no ‘blips’ or ‘pauses’ in the last minute in the video booths upstairs.

“In our new video room in Toronto we now receive live feeds of the overheads so we are not ‘slaved’ to TV waiting to see if they show the overheads.”

Campbell also stated off-ice crews in L.A. will be under a special kind of scrutiny moving forward, saying the NHL will rotate crew members’ duties “to avoid any thoughts there may be issues with the clock when opposing teams play at the Staples Center.”

  1. 2qswing - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    “We are observing all ‘last minutes’ of each period to make sure there are no ‘blips’ or ‘pauses’ in the last minute in the video booths upstairs.”

    Great but this does not address what happens if it is determined that a blip of pause causes the artificial extention of the game resulting in a game changing score. “Observing” is one thing but this answers nothing. What the NHL is saying is now we are REALLY going to pay attention to this. As a jackets season ticket holder (insert joke) I realize nothing can be done in this case at this point. But the NHL is blowing a great opportunity to show fans integrity of the game is paramount.

    So Colin, my question stands. Yes you are paying better attention but WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT HAPPENS AGAIN??

    • east96st - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      From one Jackets victim to another, we both know what happens. If happens to a contending hockey team, there’s a REAL investigation. If it’s the last placed team that is horribly mismanaged and is the running joke of the League, everyone yawns, pretends to care, and then they issue a statement that is the moral of equivalent of , “Move along. Nothing to see here.”. No offense, but Columbus brings these things onto itself. If you hire the owner’s stockbroker to be your President when he has ZERO NHL experience, you send a message to the entire League that you’re not the least bit serious about hockey. If you have an absolutely disastrous year and the owner says, “It’s all the players fault.” and the GM and President that drafted, traded for, and signed those players are safe in their jobs, you send a message to the entire League that you’re not the least bit serious about hockey. I called my ticket rep and told him NOT to send the renewal forms. I hope you’ll consider doing the same. We have to force McConnell to either sell or clear out the front office and hire Patrick as the President and give him the chance to try to undo all the damage. Priest and Howson are killing the franchise.

  2. 4twistedlogic - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    It almost sounds like they suspect the clock operators in LA but can’t come out and say it.

    Computers don’t have glitches for no reason. If it’s not a hardware or software glitch then it’s human error.

    • hystoracle - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      PEBKAC issue just a minor SNAFU for the NHL but a major FUBAR for Jackets fans.

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