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GM Meetings

NHL GMs want goaltender interference to be decided by Situation Room

Final say would shift from on-ice officials to Toronto

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- NHL general managers want to give the final authority on goaltender interference reviews initiated by the coach's challenge to the Situation Room in Toronto.

The on-ice officials have the final authority on these reviews, but they consult with members of the NHL Hockey Operations Department in the Situation Room before deciding to allow or overturn the goal.

The League hopes to make an announcement on the potential change in the review process Wednesday, but it is still determining whether it needs approval from other organizations, including the NHL Players' Association, the NHL Officials Association and the Board of Governors, because it involves a change in playing conditions.

The hope is to implement the change immediately.

If BOG approval is required, the League needs a unanimous vote of yes to make an in-season change.

"What I'm hearing from the managers is they want consistency," Colin Campbell, NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations, said Tuesday following Day Two of the General Managers meetings at the Boca Beach Club. "And it's not who is doing it, it's that we've got five guys in [the Situation Room] that participate in [the review process], two that do 90 percent of them and in the playoffs we've got one individual that does them all."

One change being considered is adding recently retired referees to the decision-making process.

"This year, we have the staff," Campbell said. "We might make a change as far as officiating or what we do in the room, but we'll find out."

Video: E.J. Hradek recaps the second day of GM Meetings

Campbell said that regardless of who is making the final decision in the Situation Room, he wouldn't expect much to change in the review process or the final decisions because the people in the room have largely agreed with the decisions made by the on-ice officials.

Kris King, NHL senior vice president of hockey operations, said Monday the Situation Room had strong disagreement with the final decision on only four of the 170 reviews for goaltender interference through 1,100 games this season.

Campbell said that the Situation Room has the final decision on reviews for offside initiated by the coach's challenge and hasn't disagreed with the officials' assessment of the play on any of the calls.

"For me, it will remain a judgment call no matter who is doing this," Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said. "At the end of the day, someone will be making that judgment call and I can almost guarantee that there are still going to be people that are going to look at it and say 'I agree' and 'I don't agree.' Three or five or seven of us can get in a room and watch the same tape, and I guarantee we're not all going to have the same opinion."

Video: E.J. chats with George McPhee at the GM Meetings

Campbell said the NHL is not considering a change to the wording of the goaltender interference rule. He also said if the League doesn't get the approval it may need, it would leave the review process as status quo for the rest of the season.

"We'll know tomorrow," Campbell said.

The GMs on Tuesday rejected the idea of changing the wording in the offside rule to allow a player to be deemed onside even if his trailing skate is in the air while his front skate is in contact with the ice but over the blue line.

Campbell said there have been 16 would-be good goals overturned by video review because of a skate-in-the-air offside this season. Because of that, he said, the Hockey Operations Department was pushing the GMs to change the rule, but 10 GMs expressed a desire to do it. The League needs two-thirds of the 31 GMs on board to recommend a rule change.

"Sixteen goals, which is a scintilla," Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee said. "It's always the unintended consequences of what you do. You implement a change for a certain reason and you address that, but other things happen that you weren't expecting and we don't want to go down that road. We understand what the offside rule is right now. It doesn't account for even one half of one percent of all the goals. So, it's not worth making radical changes. It is what it is. We understand it. We move on."

The GMs also looked at adding a delay of game penalty for intentionally pushing the net off the moorings, and starting a period with a face-off in the attacking zone if a team has power-play time carry over from the previous period.

"No changes," Campbell said.

Campbell said the League asked the GMs if they had interest in trying to legislate against fights that happen after legal hits. He said they gauged the opinion of former NHL forward Shane Doan, a senior adviser in Hockey Operations.

"We asked the question and [the GMs] were fine where it's at," Campbell said.

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