The addition of the coach’s challenge in the NHL has produced mixed results. While the ability to challenge a contested call has helped reverse incorrect decisions, the system has some glaring flaws the NHL needs to address before anyone would label it a success. From the tiny size of the screen/tablet used by the officials to review plays to the limited camera angles to review goals and offside calls, the NHL has plenty of opportunities to improve.
The recent GM meetings have produced at least one change which will be in place in time for the playoffs.
They'll put cameras in the boards for the NHL playoffs this year to be more accurate on offsides. #tvasports
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) March 14, 2016
Specifically, the NHL will add cameras inside the boards along the blueline to speed up the review process while providing the officials with another more definitive angle.
If you take a look at the photo above, the new camera will presumably live inside the boards near where the current “Reebok” lettering is located. Considering the league has mastered placing cameras in tiny slots inside the posts, they won’t need much room inside the boards.
The NHL has used similar cameras during outdoor games, so the addition shouldn’t be too difficult to implement around the league.
While the NHL is adopting blueline cameras, the reported addition of crossbar-mounted cameras appears to be still on the discussion table. Crossbar cameras may be in the league’s future, but it appears they won’t be added this season.
The NHL is taking strides to improve their review process. One could make the argument these points should have been considered and addressed long before the league went live with the coach’s challenge, but at least they have recognized there is a need to improve.
Hopefully more changes will be made in the near future.