Wild notes: GMs want to expand video review, but the devil's in the details

  • Article by: Michael Russo
  • Star Tribune
  • March 16, 2014 - 12:12 AM

There is a clamoring to expand video replay in the NHL, although general managers didn’t reach a consensus of the best way to go about it during last week’s meetings in Boca Raton, Fla.

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said the one specific play many managers would like to see considered for expanded video review is when goalie interference may cause a goal.

“But how is that best handled?” Fletcher said. “Is that a coach’s challenge or initiated from hockey ops in Toronto or from referees initiating the review? That’s what we’re still discussing.”

One idea is to put a video monitor in the penalty box like in college hockey. If a goal is scored and a referee believes there may have been goalie interference, he can look himself.

On Feb. 28 in Vancouver, Wild defenseman Keith Ballard had a goal waved off by referee Brad Meier when Meier felt Wild forward Erik Haula made incidental contact with Canucks goalie Eddie Lack. Replays showed Haula didn’t touch Lack and was out of the crease before Ballard even attempted the shot.

But the play wasn’t reviewable.

“I don’t know how it would hurt the game if that was reviewable,” Haula said. “In football, they review every touchdown. That should be in hockey. If the puck goes into the net, every goal should be reviewed. I think there should be a rule where the referee can’t signal ‘no goal’ until he knows for sure and it’s looked at.”

Often times though, if there’s not definitive video evidence of a good goal or bad goal, the ref’s decision counts. That was the case Nov. 25 when Zach Parise had a goal waved off for a high stick.

“I don’t like to take the human side of things out, but at the same time, when it’s a pretty critical goal for us, they should find a way to review goals like [Ballard’s in Vancouver],” Parise said. “As far as mine, there are cameras everywhere. There should be enough technology to be able to tell every goal.”

Fletcher said some managers want to greatly enhance video replay for many situations, others want to target specific things such as goalie interference and others are concerned “about having constant video review and every goal challenged.”

“There’s constant debate,” Fletcher said. “It’s hard to get a clear consensus about what the best approach is. In baseball and football, there might be a 10-second, defined play you can look at and analyze. In hockey, there’s continuous flow and sometimes it’s hard to unwind our clock because 10 different things may happen in a minute-and-a-half [after the play you want to review].”

Stay out of the box

Before Saturday’s game against Columbus, Kyle Brodziak had taken four minor penalties in the previous four games and six in the previous seven.

“He’s one of our top penalty killers,” coach Mike Yeo said. “We can’t have him taking those penalties. We need him to kill them.”

Brodziak’s play has been up and down. Yeo was asked if he has considered elevating Haula, a rookie, into Brodziak’s third-line role.

“We’ve done a pretty good job handling [Haula],” Yeo said. “As far as his development, he’s improved, we’ve increased his role and responsibilities [penalty killing]. And we haven’t done it too quickly. We haven’t pushed him into a position where he might not be ready for. We have moved him up a couple times here and there, and we will use him in this next stretch. We’ll gauge it game by game. You’ve just got to keep earning it.”


• Injured forward Jason Zucker, who hasn’t played since a “procedure” on one of his legs during the Olympic break, is skating on his own again. “Hopefully we start progressing him along,” Yeo said.

• Ballard was scratched, as was forward Justin Fontaine for a fifth consecutive game.

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