While we were all intrigued by Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon’s idea to institute an NFL-like instant replay challenge system in the NHL, it appears that such a system isn’t as interesting to the other GMs around the National Hockey League. During the GM meetings in Toronto today, Tallon’s proposal was discussed and met with less-than positive feed back leading to the proposal being shelved for the time being.
Tallon called the idea “a dead issue” and hinted that he doesn’t plan to bring it up again any time soon.
“That’s the way it goes,” Tallon said. “You win some, you lose some.”
As you might expect, other general managers were a bit more forthcoming in discussing the idea after the meetings ended for the day. If you guessed that Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke would be one of the more outspoken guys, then you’ve been paying attention to his career in the NHL.
“Talking about a coaching challenge in response to one goal is like killing a house fly with a bazooka,” Burke said. “All of a sudden, we’re talking about a rule change because of one goal. Our group gets paid to not panic on rule changes and not overreact. This, to me, seems like an overreaction of the highest magnitude.
“We think we have the best officials in the world and we don’t need to handcuff them with needless replays.”
We can debate all day about the quality of officiating, but leave it to the heads of the NHL to immediately play down an idea that could, potentially, be useful in the future. After all, they did this with the headshot rule in the past when the NHLPA wanted action taken. The NHL beat the NHLPA to the punch last year approving a rule before getting the OK from the player’s union.
While the idea has been shelved for the time being, expect replay situations to get eyeballed a little closer now and to not have the topic totally closed off from discussion behind the scenes. We may just hear about it again in March when the GMs meet up next time.