Coaches Challenge? Necessary.

One thing the National Hockey League does not need more of is another team in a non-traditional hockey market like Florida and Arizona, who struggle on a nightly basis to fill half of their home arenas. Despite this, the NHL is rumored to be in talks for further expansion! But one thing that is far overdue for hockey is the introduction of a coach’s challenge.

As a Red Wings fan, I’ve witnessed dozens of Detroit goals disallowed due to hockey’s greatest net-front presence, Tomas Holmstrom.

The Wings were just robbed of a goal last week at Montreal, with Justin Abdelkader being the victim of the goaltender interference rule. But the NHL’s latest failure left me speechless.

Detroit’s Luke Glendening was called for goaltender interference on Washington netminder Brayden Holtby, and Drew Miller’s subsequent goal was disallowed. The only problem was that Glendening wasn’t within three feet of Holtby, who tripped over his own two feet. Once the on-ice officials make a decision, it is rendered non-reviewable. Something tells me that’s a sign that the NHL is a bit too protective of their referees. Luckily for the Wings, this time it didn’t affect the outcome of the game.

Referees are people too. With human judgment comes occasional error. Ice hockey is after all, the fastest of the four professional sports, and on-ice officials have to make split second decisions every game.

When an egregious error in judgment occurs as the instance from last Wednesday night, the NHL needs to allow a chance to make it right. Officials are supposed to have as little effect on the game as possible, but when on-ice officials are able to make themselves greater than the game, I can’t think of a better time for this new option to be introduced. Get the call right.

Do you think it’s time for the NHL to adopt an NFL-style coach’s challenge? Let me know in the comments below.


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