Almost everyone agrees: the NHL has a serious problem with goaltender interference. No, not a problem with it happened too often or anything like that. The problem is that no one, including players, coaches, fans, and even referees, seem to understand exactly what is (and what is not) goaltender interference.
The 2017-18 season has been littered with questionable replay reviews for supposed goaltender interference. Some goals are called back. Some goals are left standing. And there appears to be no pattern or consistency with the decisions.
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello says changes are both needed, and will be forthcoming.
“There should be change and there will be,” Lamoriello said on Monday at the NHL GM Meetings in Florida, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli. “It’s just making sure it’s the right thing. I think we also have to be very careful and dwell on (whether) something is majorly wrong. We had several isolated incidents that were flagrant and they overshadow everything else.”
The meetings run for three days, but goalie interference was the very first subject of the day. Currently, officials are able to watch a replay of the incident and choose to change their original call. Some critics have suggested that the calls be decided by the league head office in Toronto, similar to the way Major League Baseball does their reviews by having a team of umpires in New York make the final calls.
Darren Dreger of TSN has already reported that a tweak or adjustment of the current rules are definitely coming. The NHL has a history of fixing rules immediately, rather than waiting for the offseason. It’s possible that any rule changes would take effect immediately, and give teams a short chance to get used to them before the playoffs start in a few weeks.