What the NHL can learn from the MLB: Replay Edition

The NHL and MLB both have recently, or at least feels recent, added replay to their respective sports.

There were issues on both ends that led to replay and it definitely has been a point of contention so far in the NHL. There are two things that are being contested in the NHL: what should be reviewed and how long these reviews are taking. The latter is where the NHL can learn from the MLB.

So recently Major League Baseball has added time restraints to the review process. They have not limited what can or can not be reviewed, just the time it takes. This is to speed up a traditionally slow game. Now while the NHL is a very fast moving sport, the replay system has taken a lot longer than it should.

So how do we fix the NHL review:

First, limit it to 2 minutes, if it can not be determined in that time period then the ruling on the ice stands

Second: give the officials a bigger screen to look at. These guys are looking at what seems to be iPhone screens or iPad screens. Need at least a 50 inch TV.

Third: Limit what can and cannot be reviewed. There are certain plays that should be reviewed, i.e did the puck cross the goal-line and was there goalie interference. Allowing a “no-goal” for offside should have some caveats.

Third (b): Offside: If the player is offside but the official misses the call and a goal is scored as long as the offside player entered the zone 45 seconds prior to the goal, the goal should count. For example player A enters offside at 12::55 to go in the first period. A goal is scored at 11:55 to go in the first period, the officials can not disallow a goal for offside.

Example 2: If player A is offside on a breakaway and scores 5 seconds later then no-goal.

Third (c): If a coach believes a player is offside he can throw an “offside challenge” at the time of the offside. This challenge can only be used once per game unless the player is indeed offside. If the player is indeed offside then the coach can keep challenging until he loses a challenge. Coaches may take advantage of this rule to try and get an extra timeout, so I propose that, similar to Football, all of these challenges have to come from the booth in the last two minutes. This rule needs some work but could be an interesting discussion/starting point.

Fourth: All reviews, except crossing the goal-line, shall be viewed in real-time. To disallow a goal the offense should be egregious and clear to see upon review. The slow motion and millimeter-like precision that the officials are looking at takes the character and human-element out of the game.

This will make officials better. The officials can review anything concerning a goal right now and may be using it as a crutch. Taking that crutch away will make these guys better and more attentive, hopefully.,

Would love to hear some thoughts…


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