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BLOG: McLellan intends on using coach's challenge for off-side calls

Failed off-side challenges will now warrant a penalty but Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan maintained his intention to use his coach's challenges when necessary

by Paul Gazzola /

There's been a change to Rule 78.7 in the National Hockey League's Rulebook.

Beginning in the 2017-18 campaign, if a team challenges a goal for off-side and they lose the challenge, the team will be handed a delay of game penalty. The club will not lose one of their timeouts, however, and they will not need a timeout available to challenge a potential off-side play. 

For the Oilers coaching staff, the rule doesn't change much in terms of how they administer their challenges.

"We'll use it when we feel we need to," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "What that means is if we feel like we have a better than 50/50 chance of having success, we'll take that chance."

McLellan did mention that there angles to consider before he throws a flag.

"We will consider the score, the time of the game and momentum of the game," McLellan continued. "If you happen to be trailing by one or two and they make it 4-1 with seven or eight minutes left and you think it's off-side, that's probably a chance we'll take. At 4-1 it's tough to come back; 3-1 you have a chance. We'll gamble a little bit based on score but we'll try and approach it the same way we always have: with a chance of success."

Coach's challenges on a scoring play with suspected goaltender interference will remain the same: a team must have a timeout available to challenge the scoring. Should the call on the ice stand, the only penalization the team will face is the loss of a timeout.

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