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Maurice looking forward to new face-off and challenge rules in 2019-20

"It will improve as technology improves" - Maurice on expanded video review

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Paul Maurice spent most of his day on Thursday in meetings put on by the National Hockey League's Coaches Association, but there was one person that he really looked forward to chatting with - New York Rangers head coach David Quinn.

After all, who better to ask about newly acquired defenceman Neal Pionk than the man who coached him through his first full pro season?

"I watch quite a bit of video on any player that we trade and I'll have questions," said Maurice.

"'Why did you take him away from Marc Staal here?' And the answer isn't about Neal, it's about another injury and they had to make a shift. You get that kind of information and it's good."

The feedback goes both ways as well. While former Jet Brendan Lemieux has been with Quinn and the Rangers since the trade deadline in February, Jacob Trouba is new to the Blueshirts, and to Quinn.

"I like Brendan Lemieux and I like Jacob Trouba and he's going to want a coach's opinion," said Maurice. "It was a positive 'this is how we used him, this is how we saw him, these were areas he was really good, and these were the areas we were trying to make better" and he gives you that back. 

"Then you get to do basically your job, that's make players better."

Video: DRAFT | Paul Maurice

One of the other major topics of discussion were the new rules implemented for the 2019-20 season. While the meetings were going on, the rules regarding expanded video review and offensive zone teams determining the face-off location hadn't been approved yet.

Just hours later though,NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced those new rules, which include a minor penalty for any failed challenge under any of the three categories: offside, goaltender interference, and the newly added missed stoppage in play in the offensive zone that lead to goals.

"It will improve as technology improves, as we can get the video faster on the bench and make decisions faster," said Maurice. "The league is trying to move closer and closer to a model of what is challenged is clearly obvious, and what is not obvious isn't challenged. It's a bit punitive if you're wrong. 

"It's happened on the bench where you've made a call and there's no cost to it - you're trying to buy some time. All that will eventually slide away."

As for the offensive zone team deciding which side of the ice the face-off will occur following an icing and to begin a power play, Maurice could only smirk when thinking of hypotheticals of coaches and players disagreeing on which dot to choose.

"What might get interesting is you'll see people who don't take a lot of face-offs start, so they're on their strong side," said Maurice. "You've got a right-handed centre with a draw in the left corner, but you got a lefty over there that can do it.

"They'll have their centre on the ice, if it's in the corner that I want, it's going to be on his wrong side. I'll put the best centre I can on that side of the ice or against him."

Video: DRAFT | Cheveldayoff After the GM Meeting

Maurice believes eventually players will almost treat that situation like line matching and will know exactly who should take the draw on which side given who is on the ice for the opposition.

Maurice and his staff will spend a fair bit of the summer determining how the new rules might affect certain situations during games so they as a staff can be prepared.

As for the rest of this weekend, Maurice said the head coach takes a bit of a back seat to the management and scouts.

"You're always available," said Maurice. "Yes, you're having more conversations because there are more things in play. But unless you're doing a trade, there's not much for the head coach to do at the draft."

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