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Dreger: Examining the possibilities of a 'coach's challenge'

Darren Dreger

10/27/2010 10:42:49 PM

Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon says he is considering proposing a coach's challenge rule at the November GMs meeting in the wake of Colton Orr's controversial winning goal Tuesday night.

Tallon would have the support of at least 14 NHL coaches who voted in favour of introducing such a new rule in a TSN poll conducted on Wednesday.

Tallon says he is frustrated following the blown call in which Orr turned what appeared to be a textbook goaltender interference penalty into the second goal in Toronto's 3-1 win over the Panthers. It was a call referees Stephen Walkom and Francis Charron would love to have back and one Tallon cited as a prime example of why coaches should have the right to challenge plays, but only those that result in goals or disallowed goals.

14 coaches who were asked, "Would you support a coaches challenge for certain plays, like goalie interference?" said it's time that a coach's challenge is introduced, but not without significant limits.

One coach who voted in favour says it would have to be limited to perhaps one challenge per team and would have to include a deterrent, such as a forfeiture of a timeout, or a two minute penalty if the team loses the challenge.

Seven coaches voted against introducing a coach's challenge rule, saying they would prefer to leave the game and element of human error as is.

A coach who voted "no" bluntly called for better officiating, while another "no" voter predicts teams would manipulate the situation, perhaps faking an injury to buy time to check video before issuing challenges.

NHL Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell says the league would consider such a proposal if it's properly submitted as an agenda item and open for full discussion. But Campbell points out that, as intriguing as it may be for NHL coaches to consider additional video review, it's something GMs  have shunned in the past because of the limitless ways video review could be used.