“The NHL looks at that right there, we want overtime to be over in a hurry, all you do is flip ends, make it as hard as you can,” Babcock said while at the Olympics. “It’s harder on the long change.”
Another subject that will get plenty of discussion is video review, which is currently limited to the situation room in Toronto determining if a goal was good or not. Even though it was just one instance, that Jan. 18 game between the Red Wings and Kings is example A for expanding review.
“You can count on one hand how many times they miss a puck hitting the net, but that specific case and it ended up as a goal, yeah, it probably should’ve been (reviewed) — maybe if the video department had that authority, it would’ve been used,” Maloney said. “And I think we all agree that in that case that was just wrong, and we need to correct that.”
Several general managers cautioned that too much replay can be a bad thing. Just as it’s being debated in baseball and football, the biggest pitfall to more video reviews is the time they can take.
“Our game is part of momentum and keeping the game going,” Rutherford said. “But at the same time, the league has always said that they want to get goals right. We saw an example (in Detroit) where it had nothing to do with the guidelines of how the league proceeds, but we didn’t get one right.
“So that’s something that we’ll discuss, I’m sure. But there’s a fine line there: How many times can you review things in a game without slowing it down to change the time of a game another 15 minutes.”
In that same vein, Nill would like to see “tweaks” to video review in important cases but doesn’t want the NHL to become a “robotic” game with frequent calls to the situation room.
Still, there’s a ground swell to at least add replay in isolated cases, like on plays goals are scored on. That may not mean instituting a challenge system for coaches right away but perhaps something more simple.
“It would be nice to just have a monitor in the penalty box for the official to gather as much information to make the right call because they’re closest to the action like they have in other leagues,” Wilson said, pointing to the model used in the NFL and NBA.
Some things, like goaltender interference, would require a stricter interpretation to be subject to video review. Penalties, like players putting the puck over the glass or getting a double-minor called for high-sticking, would fall into another category to be considered.
“I think everything that’s critical to the outcome of the game, if it’s conveniently available, we should review,” Columbus GM Jarkko Kekalainen said. “Not to disturb the flow of the game and the time of each game as a whole — we don’t want games to last four hours or anything like that. But with the technology these days I think that there should be some kind of a system where all the critical plays can be reviewed so that we don’t see the (wrong) outcomes.”
With three days of meetings scheduled on Florida’s east coast, general managers are expected to delve into a host of other topics, including the regulation — or elimination — of goaltender fights and the impact of the falling Canadian dollar on next year’s salary cap.
At December’s board of governors meeting, the 2014-15 cap was estimated at just above US$71 million, rising from the $64.3 million ceiling for this season. Kings GM Dean Lombardi told the Los Angeles Times that he and his colleagues were advised it could be as low as $US68 million as the Canadian dollar continues to fall.
As of Saturday, the loonie was worth roughly 90 cents U.S., after being above 95 cents midway through 2013.
Goalie fighting is expected to at least be touched on after it was broached at November’s meeting in Toronto that followed the infamous incident between Ray Emery of the Philadelphia Flyers and Braden Holtby of the Capitals. Rutherford and Maloney indicated they believed the issue was a bit overblown at the time.
“Really they’re so rare, aren’t they? That was an isolated (incident),” Maloney said. “If we start to see goalie fights every other game, yeah, OK, maybe there’s a problem. I don’t see it being a problem. That was a one-time incident that nobody liked, but I think our officials and the people that review the games, they do a pretty good job of cleaning up anything that’s outside the rules. So I don’t see a real mandate to start over-regulating the game in that area.”