NEW YORK – While it won’t be in place next season, it appears the NHL is moving closer to instituting a coach’s challenge for certain situations, including goals resulting from an offsides or a puck off the mesh, as well as the wrong person being penalized and pucks over the glass.
“I think the GMs, the general sentiment is that we want it to happen,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said on Wednesday. “We had a straw poll on those five things to review. The majority of us felt that they should be subject to review through a coach’s challenge. We’ve just got to figure it out to cover those first two instances when the play keeps going [offsides or puck off the mesh].”
The sticky issue with those two situations is that the clock continues running and the GMs need to decide “how far you let it run before you can dismiss a challenge,” Chiarelli said.
There will be more discussion on the issue by the NHL’s general managers on the video review topic, as they move closer to instituting it.
It appears unlikely goaltender interference will be made subject to video review, something that became a major issue after a goal by Dwight King in Game 2 seemed to result from an uncalled goalie interference on Henrik Lundqvist.
The Kings came back in that game, winning in double overtime.
“It’s such a judgment call, really, for the group,” Chiarelli said. “I think they felt it was so much on the judgment of the ref that it would be hard to correct or remedy in a video review where you don’t have a real context. For that it’s more about educating, reinstating the rule on goalie interference.”
Another thing that the NHL seems ready and willing to do is enforce the league’s own Rule 64.3, regarding fines and suspensions for embellishment. As NHL vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said, “We’d like to bring [it] alive again.”
The rule reads, in part, “The first such incident [of embellishment] during the season will result in a warning letter being sent to the player or goalkeeper. The second such incident will result in a one thousand dollar ($1,000) fine.”
The rule also includes a provision for suspensions for players after a third embellishment call, though the general managers do not seem to want to go that far.
“I think with the diving, with the embellishment, I think it really detracts from the game,” Chiarelli said. “The players that were on the competition committee felt the same way. There’s really strong sentiment from both sides to do something about it.”
The NHL would likely add a fine to the coach and/or organization after a certain number of embellishments by a team, though that number has not yet been determined. They would also possibly publish a list of the greatest offenders.
“I think they’re incumbent upon us to put in place,” Chiarelli said. “It’s not about really embarrassing the player, it’s about making it a better game.”
He added, “It can become a bit of an epidemic. We want to make sure that it’s something that we can make the players know who’s doing it and I think they’d feel guilty about it.”
The general managers also approved the issues recommended by the competition committee earlier in the week, including the dry scrape after regulation instead of after the shootout, the longer change in the overtime, both of which are designed to limit how often teams go to shootouts, as well as the expanded trapezoid.
Iginla, Bruins close?
It was reported in French over the weekend that according to Jarome Iginla’s agent Don Meehan, the Bruins and Iginla have been in talks about a new contract. Iginla, who will be 37 on July 1, signed a one-year, incentive-laden deal last season, and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Because those incentives count against the team’s cap for the upcoming season, the Bruins would likely only be able to offer Iginla a similar one-year deal to the one he signed last year.
While Chiarelli would not comment on where negotiations with Iginla stand, he did confirm that the Bruins would like to bring the right wing back. Iginla had 30 goals and 31 assists for 61 points this season.
The Rangers, who won Game 4, 2-1, are now 11-2 in their last 13 postseason games when facing elimination, including 5-0 this season. In those games, Lundqvist has a 1.30 goals against average, .959 save percentage, and two shutouts. The Rangers have won eight consecutive elimination games at home, with Lundqvist having a 0.99 goals against average, .968 save percentage, and two shutouts. That set an NHL record, surpassing the Red Wings (twice) and the Canadiens, who had each won seven consecutive elimination games at home.