Competition committee approval puts coach’s challenge closer to coming to NHL

NEW YORK — A coach’s challenge system is one step closer to being a reality in the NHL.

The joint NHL/NHL Players’ Association competition committee on Thursday recommended coach’s challenges for goals involving goaltender interference and offside plays.

If approved by the NHLPA executive board and NHL board of governors, goaltender interference challenges would be handled by referees at ice level. Offside reviews would be handled by on-ice officials with consultation from the situation room in Toronto.

A coach must have his timeout in order to challenge.

One of the original ideas was to make pucks shot over the glass subject to a coach’s challenge, but that did not get through the competition committee.

Six weeks after general managers finally agreed on some aspect of three-on-three overtime to reduce shootouts, the competition committee failed to reach a consensus on what to do. The league and players will continue to discuss the issue in the coming weeks.

GMs were split on the American Hockey League’s format of four-on-four for the first three minutes of overtime and then three-on-three from the next whistle up to seven minutes and just doing three-on-three for all five minutes.

The competition committee, which included four players, one owner and four GMs, could not agree, either.

In an effort to generate more offence, the competition committee approved the general managers’ recommendation to make the defensive player put his stick down first, instead of the visiting player. Faceoffs at centre ice will remain the same, requiring that the visiting team player put his stick down first.

On the committee, co-chaired by the NHL’s Colin Campbell and NHLPA’s Mathieu Schneider, were Michael Cammalleri and Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils, Kevin Shattenkirk of the St. Louis Blues, Daniel Winnik of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider, and general managers David Poile of the Nashville Predators, Ken Holland of the Detroit Red Wings, Don Maloney of the Arizona Coyotes and Peter Chiarelli of the Edmonton Oilers.

The Canadian Press

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