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Report: Coach’s challenges likely for 2014-15

Jun 9, 2014, 1:21 PM EDT

Alain Vigneault Getty Images

Video review is obviously nothing new for the NHL as it’s commonly used to distinguish a good goal from one that doesn’t count, but the expansion of that practice has been a matter of debate for quite some time.

Now it looks like the NHL Competition Committee and the league’s general managers are likely to take that practice to another level by allowing for coach’s challenges, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie. What that will include is still a matter for debate.

One controversial item that’s not expected to be challengeable next season is goaltender interference. A goalie interference call or non-call that either takes away or results in a goal tends to lead to some of the most heated arguments and the Stanley Cup Final has been no exception in that regard.

Former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma recently argued that goalie interference calls are “way too difficult for the referees to judge in the game” and thus should be subject to video review.

Beyond that, it’s not clear yet what coaches might be able to dispute now or in the future, assuming that the coach’s challenges end up coming at all. For example, could controversial hits that don’t get called be challenged? What if the hit didn’t result in a stoppage in play, would the coach be able to challenge once play stops in the hopes of still getting a call? How many challenges would a coach get through a game and would there be some kind of cost against coaches that challenge a play that’s ultimately upheld?

Those are questions that the NHL will answer if they decide to move forward with this idea.

  1. kovodisc - Jun 9, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Slippery slope here.

    I could see high-stick penalties being challenged with all the nonsense that goes in with people snapping back their heads from no contact.

  2. sgs32 - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Lets just hopes it leads to more justice in-game without much stoppage of play and coaches challenging out of hand, if that’s realistic

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      The main concern to be addressed by limits is coaches using their challenges as de facto time outs in crucial spots. Wily coaches in decades past are why goalies coming into games as subs now get no warmups.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 9, 2014 at 8:58 PM

        The main concern is that challenges are f***ing stupid. They originated in pro football and are being phased out as manageably as possible. There is not a single good reason to institute them in a sport that has thus far done reply very well.

  3. WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    No replay please.

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 9, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Why? They have all the infrastructure, just have the war room pause the game so they can get the calls right when need be.

  5. theaxis1212 - Jun 9, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    This seems like it would be near impossible to implement because it is often the case that the coach would challenge the fact that play did not stop because of a missed call. We can’t have coaches stopping play, and how should we deal with play after a call that is overturned? This could work for the delay of game penalty, but nothing else consistently stops the game no matter what call is made.

  6. sixchr - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Make all goals reviewable. There’s no need for coaches challenges.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      All goals are already reviewable. Challenges are arguably needed for missed and bogus penalty calls, as well as, possibly, who really won the icing race, and debatable offsides calls. Saw two faulty icing calls in Game 2.

      • WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        If the offsides is a bad call and then it’s reviewed….what do you gain? a faceoff? the play is over and it means nothing. Icing call blown? WHO CARES AGAIN…the play is still stopped and a face off. I don’t think they will challenge penalty calls as that would be as stupid as challenging balls/strikes in baseball. I just don’t see what slowing down the game will accomplish.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        Will: if a missed offsides call led to a goal, getting it right is of some importance. If a blown icing call is corrected, the difference is the face off moving to center ice and both teams can change lines, so also potentially crucial.
        If a 3 minute delay leads to your team not getting hosed on a crucial call in OT, you might not mind it so much. Do I want every whistle challenged and a regular season game lasting 4 hours? No. But sensible rules can easily prevent that.

      • sixchr - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        No, there are some instances where goals are not reviewable, such as goalie interference(which can be discretionary). Mistakes happen in officiating. It’s part of sports. We can’t make officiating perfect and all challenges do is slow down the game and ruin the product. The NFL is a prime example of it. The NHL has the best replay system in sports, there’s no reason to change it. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 9, 2014 at 10:20 PM

        Six, perfection is indeed unattainable. But clearly faulty calls being rectified in a timely manner is quite possible. When it’s your team getting a bad thing modified, you’ll likely approve.

  7. sumkat - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    You can’t replay everything. It would kill the whole “fastest game on ice” thing. But you could do things like high sticks. How many times have we seen a guy take a stick to the face with no call? Or the opposite, a guy not get hit at all, but throw his head back like he got shot and get the call?

    Would be a positive development out of what I find to be a bad idea if they could pull that off

    Another spot it could be good is for major/minor calls. Would be nice to have the refs check. Was that REALLY an elbow to the face, or was it just a hit where the guy ducked and ran into an elbow? Did he actually leave his feet, or is he just 6’6, and hitting a guy that is 5’10.

    There are some places it could help, and I’m all for trying to get calls in the NHL to be more consistent. But I think this is just going to lead to too many stoppages

  8. spydey629 - Jun 9, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Flashback… Pittsburgh: April 2012.

    Trailing 2-0 in Game 1 of the ECQF, Philadelphia’s Danny Briere skates toward the Pittsburgh goal on a breakaway — and is six feet off side. No call. Briere skates in and scores, sparking a Philadelphia comeback (and a miserable series I am still bitter over).

    You want to know how/why a challenge can affect a game? THIS is the why the NHL needs a coach’s challenge.

    Give the coaches unlimited challenges…. give them one a period… I don’t care. If they’re wrong, it’s delay of game.

    We have the technology. The NHL’s refs are excrement. Let’s get the calls right (for once).

  9. stakex - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    There is certainly a place for a challenge system. Considering the amount of incorrect and missed calls that take place in a game, its not a bad idea to give coaches a way to overturn some of them.

    With that said, I still don’t understand the NHLs refusal to expand video review to cover more circumstances when goals are scored. For example, there is no call that causes as much controversy, or results in more incorrect goal/no goal calls than goaltender interference. Yet the league refuses to allow it to be reviewed, and it sounds like that’s going to continue even with a challenge system. It makes no sense at all. What’s the point of video review, if you’re not going to use it to make sure every goal/no-goal call is correct?

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