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Coach's challenge proposal dies a quick death at GMs meeting Add to ...

Dale Tallon's proposal for a coach's challenge to an on-ice call died a quick death at Tuesday's NHL general managers meeting.

The Florida Panthers GM saw his peers reject the idea of allowing a coach to challenge one call per game. This was not a big surprise as the proposal seemed to have little support going into the meeting.

"I'll move on, that's all," Tallon said after his proposal was rejected. "You win some, you lose some."

Tallon said the coach's challenge "had a little bit" of support "but not very much." The other GMs thought the issue was too complicated, Tallon said.

"There was so much involved," he said. "When do you do it [challenge a call] how long does it take? It could have expanded into something more than it should be."

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke openly ridiculed the idea, saying it "was like killing a house fly with a bazooka." Burke, whose team won a game over the Panthers two weeks ago because of a missed goaltender interference call, said the proposal was "an over-reaction to one goal."

Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero said the proposal may come up for discussion at the GMs' major meeting of the year, the two-day session in March. But Tallon said it was "a dead issue."

The other proposal drawing the most interest may not even come up for discussion Tuesday. Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland wants to see regular-season overtime expanded to eight minutes with the first four minutes dedicated to four-on-four play and the last four going to three-on-three. The idea is to see more games decided in overtime and fewer by the shootout, which follows overtime.

However, the GMs were working their way through other business Tuesday morning and a couple of them said at the lunch break the overtime discussion may have to wait until their next meeting.

Most of the morning was spent listening to a presentation by the NHL's hockey operations department on how well the new rule banning blindside hits to the head was working. Several GMs said most of them feel the rule resulted in fewer injuries so far and is making more players aware of the need to avoid such collisions, although there have been several cases of concussions so far this season.

"Most of us feel we've got a handle on things," Atlanta Thrashers GM Rick Dudley said of the headshot rule, adding that league executives have to be careful not to take the physical side of the game out of hockey. "We feel the league is doing the right thing to protect players. We have to do it without changing the basic structure of the game."

Shero said the GMs could tweak the blindside headshot rule in March if the early results on its use change.

 

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