The NHL moved one step closer to possibly expanding video replay Wednesday.
Commissioner Gary Bettman declined to discuss specifics, but the league’s Board of Governors approved proposals to change video reviews and other rules during a meeting in Las Vegas at Encore. Modifications to the review policy are expected to be addressed Thursday when NHL general managers meet in Vancouver ahead of the draft.
Bettman was optimistic changes would be made after the board discussed various possibilities to revamping replay following a postseason in which the league’s officiating came under fire for several missed and controversial non-reviewable calls.
“It seems that the constituent groups involved in this process are in sync,” Bettman said, referring to the general manager, Board of Governors and competition committee.
Any changes need a majority vote from the 31 general managers Thursday to move forward so the NHLPA’s Executive Board can work with the league on the language for each rule. The NHL/NHL Players Association Competition Committee proposed expanding video review on June 11.
“There will be a lot of specificity tomorrow,” said deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
“I don’t anticipate we’ll have a problem with the GMs,” Daly added.
Among the plays that sparked debate were Golden Knights center Cody Eakin’s major penalty in Game 7 of their first round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks. The call on Eakin, which helped the Sharks rally from a 3-0 deficit to win Game 7 5-4 in overtime, led to an apology from the NHL. The three referees in that game also didn’t work the remainder of the postseason.
Knights owner Bill Foley, one of the league’s governors, said in the aftermath he’d personally push for replay reform. Foley was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
Later in the postseason, the Colorado Avalanche had a game-tying goal against the Sharks taken away from them via a questionable offsides call that came from video review. And in the following round, the Sharks scored a game-winning goal against the St. Louis Blues thanks to a hand pass that wasn’t reviewable.