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NHL will not review high-sticking calls this season as questions remain

Saturday, 09.14.2013 / 7:05 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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NHL will not review high-sticking calls this season as questions remain

BELLEVILLE, Ont. - The NHL has reversed course and will not review high-sticking penalties this season, league executive vice-president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell said Saturday.

The competition committee had agreed to review all high-sticking calls for validity, but Campbell said concerns about goals scored on delayed penalties led the NHL to cancel that plan for now.

"We're punting right now," Campbell said in an interview with The Canadian Press. "We're going to watch it, we're going to talk about it and see how many times it happens. We just don't want to do something that we weren't totally comfortable with on video review. We want everything to be clear and precise and we didn't think that was."

Campbell credited New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello for bringing the issues to the league's attention. Campbell broached the possibility of a delayed penalty late in a game with the goalie pulled leading to a goal, and there was no consensus on what to do in that situation.

The intent of reviewing high-sticking calls was to make sure that a player was not penalized if it wasn't his stick that struck an opponent in the face. Campbell pointed to an incident last season with Shawn Matthias of the Florida Panthers in a game against the Devils as an example of a play that would have been reviewed.

Instead, the NHL will wait and see.

Campbell said there hasn't been serious consideration given to reviewing puck-over-the-glass penalties to see if it went off an opponent's stick or touched the glass. He would like to see offsides reviewed, but only if a goal is scored on the play in question.

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We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp