Today the General Managers meetings entered day two of their three day conference in Baco Raton, FL. On the docket was the potential for the offside rule and whether tweaks needed to be made going forward.
In going into the meetings it was left to believe that there would be enough traction on the topic to entertain the possibility on making changes.
The General Managers came to the conclusion to keep it as is and leave it alone at least for now.
“We think the offside (review) is working,” said Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli. “There’s obviously some calls that are disputed. We were part of one in Nashville. But I think it’s working. We’re working out the kinks.” Pierre LeBrun ESPN
This season leading up to the GM meeting is was reported that the league has recorded 100 offside views this is according to league officials. Of the 100 reviews, 29 of them were of which dealt with a player with his skate up in the air when passing the blue line
It was also reported that from the 29 that involved a player 20 were in fact to be inconclusive in nature leaving just 9 in which were successful at being reversed.
With only a small sample size of successful challenges to the offside rule the 31 GM’s agreed that no changes at this time were required.
Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli talked about the lack of overturned offside challenges during the current campaign.
“I don’t think so, no,” said Chiarelli. “We talked about it. In my mind, it’s just changing the dynamic if you do that. Now you have to determine the dynamic if the leg is breaking the plane or not if it’s in the air. So you’ve got a number of calls that were reversed because the leg was in the air, but if you allow it, you still have to decide if it’s breaking the plane. So there’s uncertainty on both sides. To me, I look at it like the cost of doing business.” Pierre LeBrun ESPN
Having only 9 challenges overturned doesn’t warrant an in depth discussion at this years GM meetings.
However for NHL hockey operations side of the game they do in fact have some sort of vested interest in making modifications to the current offside rule. Unfortunately Toronto can’t unilaterally make changes on their own without the support of the General Managers.
“Twenty-nine times this year out of 100 offside calls we had to look at a skate in the air,” said NHL executive vice president Colin Campbell. “One of the rationales was if you did not make that the applicable fact that it was in the air and still over the blue line it would be OK we’d have 29 less situations where you were looking at an offside play. One of the arguments made was the players might just change their point of emphasis to inside the blue line. Pierre LeBrun ESPN
Moving forward the league will have to continue collecting the data of offside challenges before making any dramatic changes. The number of overturn challenges needed to convince the the GM’s will have to be much higher than just 9.