NHL Executive Vice President Colin Campbell joined Sportnet’s Hockey Central at noon. He spoke about the NHL’s use of video review, possible expansion, the controversial hand-pass non-call from Game 3 between the Sharks and Blues, steamboats, sharks biting surfers, and the playoff officiating.
“We knocked out our best referee– put it this way, not our best referee, but our most experienced referee. He’s a good referee. His career will come to an end at the end of next season. It’s Dan O’Halloran. He made a tough call. He’s done the most playoff games, the most finals of any referee working now.
“He got knocked out of the playoffs in the first round because of the Vegas/San Jose [major penalty] call [in Game 7]. There are things in place for those officials. I know the game is fast, [but] it’s tough to replace experience with speed.”
“I’m not concerned about the age of our officials and the speed of the game. The speed of the game is fast for everybody right now.”
John Shannon asked Campbell about leveraging rule 38.4(ix), specifically for the missed hand pass in Game 3 between the Sharks and Blues, which has a broad allowance to utilize replay to ensure ‘good hockey goals.’
“We could start calling that next year game one,” said Campbell. “I don’t think I would use that card in the third round of a playoff– I’m not so sure San Jose would appreciate if we used that rule for the first time in that game, even though it would would’ve been correct.”
“That was the wrong call. it should’ve been a whistle if the referee had seen it live.”
“Yes, you could probably use [Rule 38.4(ix)] but i think it has to be a discussion [before expanding use of that rule].”
Rule 38.4(ix) allows the league to “assist the Referees in determining the legitimacy of all potential goals (e.g. to ensure they are “good hockey goals”). For example (but not limited to), pucks that enter the net by going through the net meshing, pucks that enter the net from underneath the net frame, pucks that hit the spectator netting prior to being directed immediately into the goal, pucks that enter the net undetected by the Referee, etc.”
Typically, this portion of the rule used to review only the scoring of the goal itself, not for any facet of the play leading up to the goal, such as a missed hand pass or a puck in the netting. Both situations can only be reviewed if they immediately or directly result in a goal; in both cases, a player passing the puck to a teammate effectively negates the capability to review.
“It’s so unfair that the game ended that way,” Campbell added. “The wrong way.”
Take a listen to the full conversation. It’s an interesting look into Campbell’s thoughts on where the league may go.