Offside reviews part of conversation in GM meetings

The Hockey Night in Canada panel discuss Mike Babcock, Ilya Kovalchuk and offside reviews.

Offside reviews will be on the agenda Tuesday when NHL general managers meet in Toronto.

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada’s “Headlines” segment that there will be a couple of proposals about changing the interpretation of offside.

“One of those would be around having (league) officials instructing them (referees) to look at close plays and err on the side of calling it on,” Johnston said. “There’s a feeling that if there’s a goal, the coaches can always challenge and have another look and that too many plays are being stopped where they shouldn’t because the officials obviously don’t like looking bad if a goal comes back and they missed that call.”

Johnston said general managers could bring back another proposal discussed in the past that should help referees with calls where players’ skates are in the air.

“The second one has been discussed is having the blue line considered a plane, meaning that if a player skate is in the air as long as it’s above the blue line,” Johnston said. “That would be counted still as onside and, clearly what these discussions are really about is improving game flow and having more scoring opportunities in our sport.”

This past off-season, the NHL approved changes to video review allowing coaches an unlimited number of video challenges for goalie interference, offside and possible missed calls that would have resulted in a stoppage in play. Coaches that were unsuccessful would receive a minor penalty for delay of game.

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