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.
Yesterday we told you about Panthers GM Dale Tallon’s big ideas to implement an instant replay challenge system in the NHL and it’s getting some talk thanks to some recently iffy situations where replay wasn’t allowed. It’s also coming up because NHL general managers are set to meet up next week to discuss the hot-button issues going on right now in the league and replay is near the top of the list. Also getting looked at will be how the new blindside hit rule is being implemented as well.
TSN’s Darren Dreger breaks down what else they’ll be talking about on Tuesday.
Also expected to be a key agenda item: supplemental discipline, the process, the gamesmanship some GMs use to defend their player or encourage discipline against opposing players.
Confrontation in pre-game warmups is an issue that NHL Senior VP and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell loathes, and this topic will once again be tabled for discussion as the league considers options of how to better police the matter.
Currently, the NHL doesn’t have a game-by-game pre-game monitoring system, whereby either the assigned on-ice or off-ice officials strictly watch warm-up.
Having a referee on the ice during warm-ups never hurts, really, but if they’re going to try to put an end to just smack talking in warm-ups that’s a huge buzzkill. Save that kind of fun-killing nonsense for the NFL or college football. As long as you don’t have a 20-on-20 on-ice brawl in warm-ups like a scene out of “Slap Shot,” I think the NHL is doing just fine letting the yappers do their yapping before the game starts. It’s not as if they’re inciting a riot and as much as the NHL would like to pretend it doesn’t happen, talking crap at each other is definitely part of the game.
As for addressing the headshot and blindside hit rules, you have to expect that hits like Shane Doan’s big hit on Dan Sexton, Joe Thornton’s out of the penalty box hit on David Perron, and Dan Carcillo’s elbow-leading hit on Ruslan Fedotenko are going to get a lot of video play to discuss how well (or not) the new rule is working. It’s too early to tell what kind of effect the rule has, but checking in on progress is for the best.