The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/25/13 at 02:17 AM ET
Consider this issue 1B to the 1A that is realignment in terms of the kinds of stories that get hockey fans and hockey scribes talking. The Globe and Mail's David Shoalts reports that many NHL executives and several GM's are actually interested in discussing the nuts and bolts of a "challenge flag" three years after Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon unsuccessfully lobbied for in 2010.
When the NHL's general managers meet on March 21st--and Shoalts says that they're meeting in Toronto instead of Palm Beach this time around--a general manager who's particularly interested but has yet to make specific comments about the Wings' possible move to the East told Shoalts that he'll seriously consider the concept of a "challenge flag," but only under certain circumstances:
“I’m more open than I was when Dale Tallon brought it up,” Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland said Sunday. “The big thing in our game is goals, so we have to try to make sure goals are right, that we’re not scoring goals on offsides or maybe goalie interference.”
Tallon, who made his proposal shortly after his team lost a game to the Toronto Maple Leafs when forward Colton Orr knocked down Panthers’ goaltender Scott Clemmensen and put the puck in off his skate, saw his argument boosted last week by Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene. He was offside by a metre when he scored to help the Avalanche beat the Nashville Predators.
“But the question will be where you draw the line and what to include,” said Maple Leafs vice-president of hockey operations Dave Poulin. “I think it’s got its place because you always want the right call.”
The change in attitude probably came with the growing sentiment you hear behind the scenes now, that the game is too fast for the officials to call properly. This is not an indictment of the referees and the linesmen, simply the realization that the rule changes of the past eight years designed to speed up the game have done their job too well along with the players’ dedication to training and fitness.
With today’s technology, every decision by the referees and linesmen could be subject to video review. However, the main concern with the GMs is the game is already subject to enough momentum-killing television timeouts and cannot stand much more.
“The problem is, if you try to take human error out of this we’re going to slow down to a crawl,” Holland said.
Continued with talk about video replay expanding and the issue of cut-resistant apparel...
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.