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FlightZone: Let the War Room Make the Call

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As with just about any change to the game of hockey, the coach's challenge is controversial enough. Why are we further complicating and sullying the process by forcing on-ice officials to determine the outcome via tablet?

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

You may have heard, there was some controversy over a supposed goal in yesterday's game between the Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs. Puck goes in, play is called a goal on the ice, Paul Maurice challenges, goal is overturned, Sportsnet announcers and Damien Cox are flabbergasted, etc.

I do try to avoid homerism (allow me to burgeon my supposed objective-ish credentials by proclaiming belief that the Tyler Myers hit on Nazem Kadri was indeed a penalty), and so I'd like to think my issue with the goal is not born of fandom. To me, Daniel Winnik interferes with Connor Hellebuyck's ability to make the save subsequent to being pushed by Myers, when he tugs or holds onto Hellebuyck's left arm with his own. It's a moment which can be seen at 00:31 and 00:40 of the video below:

Whatever Winnik may or may not be attempting to do, such as keeping hold of his own stick, is immaterial; the intent of a hold impeding Hellebuyck's movement likely doesn't matter. And so, I believe the referees got it right when they overturned the call on the ice. I also believe the judgment call should come from the NHL War Room.

As Cox mentioned, NHL arenas don't exactly provide ideal lighting conditions for tablet viewing, nor is it fair to ask referees to "suddenly stop, slow their heart rate and watch TV". Though there has perhaps been no more cogent a case made than this tweet by Greg Wyshynski:

The process as it currently exists is causing unnecessary grief for the on-ice officials, and yes, it does add an additional layer of subjectivity. The NHL War Room is equipped for exactly this kind of video review. The only problem with allowing them to handle coach's challenges may be that it makes far too much sense.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below, and for those with Twitter, you have 10 hours to vote in this Sportsnet poll:

And now the news.

Central Division

  • After sacrificing important if not key contributors such as Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad and Johnny Oduya at the salary cap altar, the question of Chicago's depth was going to be an ongoing narrative all throughout 2015-16. While it remains a work in progress, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Artemi Panarin stand out as Blackhawks who have helped to fill the void. (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Some interesting insight into why Patrick Roy's assistant coaches in Colorado aren't and perhaps shouldn't be on the hot seat: "Patrick Roy doesn't seem to delegate much responsibility to his assistants...based on studying practices during Roy's entire tenure, his assistants don't do much on-ice instruction. Roy appears to lead every drill and is the major voice in all three areas." This may explain a few things. (Denver Post)
  • Dallas Stars fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as Mike Heika reports that the injury to Jason Demers doesn't appear serious. Demers is a surprisingly important cog in the Stars' blueline machine; it'll be interesting to see if GM Jim Nill can keep him from hitting the market:
  • The Mike Reilly era is poised to begin for the Minnesota Wild, despite a rather trying beginning to his professional career down in Iowa. (StarTribune)
  • The Nashville Predators have placed Mike Fisher on IR and expect him to miss at least four games. Considering the team's lack of centre depth, this may do interesting things to their line combinations. Introducing Calle Jarnkrok as your new second line centre, third line pivot Colton Sissons, and something called a Cody Bass centring the fourth line. (On the Forecheck)
  • With Vladimir Tarasenko out with illness and Jori Lehtera struggling, St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock is facing some potential line juggling. The problem of whether or not to separate Paul Stastny from Alexander Steen is one many teams would love to have. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  • Regardless of whether or not you thought the Myers hit on Kadri was a penalty, this video interpretation of it is rather hilarious:

And All The Rest

  • In Ottawa, injuries to Milan Michalek and Mika Zibanejad may prove to be just what the doctor ordered for Colin Greening's career. The Senators can only hope that Greening, who was waived and sent to play with the Binghamton Senators back in early October, will seize the opportunity and give himself a modicum of trade value. (Sportsnet)
  • Using language similar to how he described Dustin Byfuglien's availability, Bob McKenzie reports that while the Columbus Blue Jackets aren't running Ryan Johansen out of town, GM Jarmo Kekäläinen is quietly gauging the market for his big #1 centreman:
  • The idea of Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli pulling the trigger on something "Jordan Eberle or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins big" is rather exciting from a news perspective. I temper my excitement with the belief that Travis Hamonic would be the return. (Edmonton Sun)
  • Jets fans will have an excuse to visit Buffalo other than booing Evander Kane, as it's expected the city will be announced as host of the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship. Keep that knowledge in your back pocket for a couple of years. (The Score)
  • Averaging just 09:28 over the meagre 7 games he's played thus far, it's looking to be another miserable season for Vincent Lecavalier. Weekly skating sessions with his 4-year-old son Gabriel provide some respite for the proud forward, whose seemingly immovable contract doesn't expire until 2018. (TSN)
  • Vinny Lecavalier may be a shadow of his former self, but he's no ghost. That honour is reserved for Shayne Gostisbehere, who according to Bob McKenzie "may well be one of the most exciting, dynamic and unique young players in the NHL". Or as the article ends off, "The Ghost looks like he could be scary good." I see what you did there, McKenzie. (TSN)
  • And finally, Jaromir Jagr had indicated on social media that the 3-on-3 All-Star format would kill him, but he changed his tune when Teemu Selanne came to the rescue. On behalf of the entire hockey world, thank you, Teemu:
Thanks for reading!