NHL general managers are set to meet Tuesday afternoon in Toronto. According to the NHL, the November meeting typically helps set the agenda for the annual March meetings, which are spread across three days and have led to many rule changes in recent seasons, including the coach’s challenge.
“It’s to make sure everybody thinks we’re in a good place and to the extent we need to clarify some things,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said of the meeting this week.
Commissioner Bettman said a discussion on the offside rule, possibly regarding the way it is written in the rulebook and how it is being applied in video replay through a coach’s challenge, will be one of the many topics the GMs will talk about.
“I know there needs to be some discussion because a couple of managers have requested it on offside,” Commissioner Bettman said.
According to Sportsnet, there are a couple notable proposals pertaining to offsides on the table.
One has been discussed in the past and would see the blue line treated as a plane when a linesman makes an offside call. This would allow a player with a skate not in contact with the ice to be judged onside, assuming his foot has not completely broken the plane of the leading edge of the blue line.
Some GMs believe that call is simply too hard for an official to make in real-time.
Another proposal would see linesmen told to error on the side of calling close plays onside because the defending team has the right to challenge using video review in cases where a goal is scored.
That would improve game flow and keep quality scoring chances from being broken up in situations where the wrong call is made.
The November GMs meeting tends to be more of a housekeeping session and lasts just a few hours. The managers meet for three days every March and that’s where rule change proposals are usually hammered out.
Other items on Tuesday’s agenda include: Discussions on scheduling and the involvement of series supervisors in pre-game meetings during the playoffs; updates on player and puck tracking.