Changes to offside rule on the table at next GM meeting

The Hockey Night in Canada panel discuss a bunch of trade deadline rumours and coaching shake ups around the NHL.

Changes could be coming to how offsides are reviewed in the NHL, Elliotte Friedman reported during the latest Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada.

According to Friedman, the NHL’s general managers will discuss potentially changing the offside rule when they meet next month.

“I think there’s a lot of support for the possibility of changing the rule for offsides,” Friedman said.

Friedman says the NHL believes goals could go up by as much as 50 per cent if the offside rule is expanded to include the plane of the blue line.

According to rule 83.1 of the NHL rule book, “A player is offside when both skates are completely over the leading edge of the blue line.” This means that if a player’s foot is not touching the ice but is still above the blue line, a player is offside. Friedman suggests that this play will now be considered onside, which could help linesmen when reviewing plays after a coach’s challenge.

Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos asked Friedman if the NHL would consider eliminating the ability for coaches to challenge for offside. Friedman said that “is not likely.”

This news comes just days after a controversial review on Wednesday between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks. On that play, Zach Parise scored a goal that appeared offside but counted. While this rule change might not settle debates like the ones had on Wednesday, any changes to the rule should help everyone understand what is offside and what isn’t.

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