Day Two Of The NHL General Managers Meetings: Offsides and Goalie Interference

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The NHL GM Meetings continued today, and while the general managers were in agreement on the offsides rule, it won’t make fans any happier.


In regards to offsides, the NHL rulebook says as follows: “The position of the player’s skates and not that of his stick shall be the determining factor in all instances in deciding an off-side. A player is off-side when both skates are completely over the leading edge of
the blue line involved in the play. A player is on-side when either of his skates are in contact with, or on his own side of the line, at the instant the puck completely crosses
the leading edge of the blue line regardless of the position of his stick. However, a player actually controlling the puck who shall cross the line ahead of the puck shall not be considered “off-side,” provided he had possession and control of the puck prior to his skates crossing the blue line.”

You’ll notice that nowhere in the rule does it specify a skate can’t be in the air for the play to be deemed onside. My personal feeling, and it is one that is shared by some NHL GMs, as Dan Rosen mentions, is that the rule needs to be amended. And it’s a simple solution; make the blue line “vertical”, so that as long as the skate is hovering over the blue line, the play is deemed “onside.” The way they call it now, you could easily make the logical jump to say that a goal should only count if the puck crosses the goal line along the ice. The whole point is to make an already fast-paced game even better, and having to spend time reviewing millimeters of video footage to determine if a play was legal seems to be ridiculous. If you want to keep the offsides challenge and the corresponding penalty for a failed one, that is fine by me. But the whole idea behind the video review is to get the egregious call and reverse it, not to spend three or four minutes figuring out if the blade had barely lifted off the ice.

Goalie Interference

As was written about yesterday here on Forever Blueshirts, the topic of goaltender interference has been a hot topic around the NHL this season. Reports coming out of Florida from hockey insiders Elliotte Friedman and Dan Rosen are that the Situation Room in Toronto will have the final word on all goalie interference challenges. This is not a bad idea, but as Rangers general manger Jeff Gorton points out in the video below, these are calls that are going to be made where there may not be a unanimous consensus on what the right call should be. I wrote about potential solutions to that here. The NHL isn’t going to change the rule to the international rule, as I suggest in the article, but they have gone about starting the process of modifying the goalie interference rule, and that’s a good thing.

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