NHL clamps down on clock malfunctions

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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.”