Video review in the NHL has been a widely discussed topic. There have been calls to increase the use of video review in hockey, but most of these protests have fallen on deaf ears. Despite it's numerous flaws and shortcomings, the NHL and those with power around the league haven't addressed the need for an improved and more extensive replay system.
Those days may be over in the very near future.
According to the NHL, this goal was "not reviewable" because the incident in question doesn't directly relate to the puck entering the net. The league does not review whether or not a puck remained in play or touched the netting above the glass even if the outcome leads to a goal.
Is this the tipping point to expanded replay in hockey?
TSN.ca reports that general managers around the league are in favor of expanding video review.
It's all about timing and I can tell you right now that it's on the GM's agenda in March when they will again tackle this. But this time, I think the league might finally get its way. We know that hockey operations has wanted to expand video review for a long time and if they get their way this year, not only will they get it moving forward but maybe even for the playoffs if they can get the owners and the NHLPA to sign off. Lots of "ifs" but certainly there's a different movement here.
I believe that Detroit goal on Saturday night was the tipping point for general managers. GMs in the past have overwhelmingly been against expanding video review but after Saturday night, I surveyed 23 NHL GMs and 22 of them said we cannot have a repeat of what happened on Saturday night. The one GM who didn't say that said they have to discuss what they're going to do. Now, how exactly they go about that is the controversial aspect. Some guys want the coach's challenge, some guys want it only to be on the very specific play where a puck comes off the mesh, and some guys want the referees to be able to review it at the penalty bench. It's all over the map and how they process this is the controversial aspect to it. But after that goal that was scored on Saturday night, many general managers said 'could you imagine if the Stanley Cup was decided on a goal like that.'
Finally. It's a shame it took such a ridiculous incident for the motion to gain more support, but it's about time those with power in the NHL recognize the need to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.
Unfortunately, the topic isn't an easy one. There isn't a perfect way to introduce expanded video reviews to the game. Determining what's reviewable and what's not isn't a picnic either. The NHL already has the "all goals reviewed" rule, but we all saw how well that worked out for the Kings.
Expanding video review may not be easy, but it's a challenge the NHL needs to address.
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