VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Kelly McCrimmon did several interviews in the weeks since the Golden Knights were eliminated from the postseason, and he touted expanding video review and coach’s challenges whenever the subject came up.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the incoming general manager was pleased with the rule changes announced by the NHL this weekend.
“I’m a believer of bottom-line right call,” McCrimmon said. “That’s what we want, and I think that’s what everybody wants. This, I think, gives a little more latitude to the people that are making those calls to make sure that they’re correct.”
The NHL saw several high-profile officiating errors during the postseason, including a five-minute major penalty for cross-checking to Knights center Cody Eakin during the third period of Game 7 in the Western Conference quarterfinals against San Jose.
In response, the league announced that referees now will be required to use video review to confirm or reduce all major/match penalties and double-minors for high-sticking.
Knights majority owner Bill Foley was not in attendance at the NHL draft and could not be reached for comment.
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson declined an interview request at the conclusion of the draft Saturday.
The league also expanded the coach’s challenge for a missed stoppage of play prior to a goal, which includes hand passes, pucks that hit the spectator netting and pucks played with a high-stick.
There were two notable instances of missed stoppages during the playoffs.
“Everyone wants to get it right, and that includes the officials, the NHL, the teams, our fans,” McCrimmon said. “Everyone wants to get it right, and there were some situations this year that were regrettable and that led the discussion that has taken place that led to the changes that were proposed and implemented (Thursday).
“There’s nothing that can be done about what has gone on previously. It’s all about trying to get it right in the future.”
Brett Leason was presented the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence, the league announced.
The award goes to the player who best exemplifies commitment to excellence through strength of character, competitiveness and athleticism.
Leason, 20, was passed over in the draft the past two years before being selected by Washington in the second round Saturday (No. 56 overall).
He led Prince Albert of the Western Hockey League in scoring with 89 points (36 goals, 53 assists) in 55 games and helped the Raiders win the WHL championship.
Sunday: Unrestricted free-agent interviews begin
Tuesday: Full schedule release
Tuesday-Saturday: Knights development camp
Wednesday: Restricted free-agent interviews begin
July 1: Free agency begins
July 5: Deadline for players to file for salary arbitration