Hakstol Burned by New Challenge Rule


This season, there’s a new NHL rule. Coaches that challenge for offsides and they’re proven wrong after video review, their team will receive a two-minute delay-of-game penalty. This is a change from last season; when a team lost a challenge they only were charged a timeout. This season, the more punitive rule has already done some damage.

From Rule 78.7

If the result of the challenge is that the play was “On-side”, the goal shall count and the team that issued the challenge shall be assessed a minor penalty for delaying the game.

Last night, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol was a victim of the new rule. Hak challenged the game-tying goal scored by the Nashville Predators forward Scotty Hartnell and ended up being wrong. The Flyers were already down a player before the challenge, went down two men after the failed challenge. The Predators scored on the ensuing power play to give them a 6-5 win. (Here’s the goal in question). Hakstol explained the move.

It’s a hard one. I’ve gone back and looked on our big screen,” Hakstol told the media after the game. “In my opinion, the puck is probably out of the zone. I don’t think anybody can probably prove it beyond the doubt by video. By the letter of the law, they probably got that one right. I think anybody who looks at it — there’s a pretty good chance that puck is out.”

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan doesn’t like the new rule.

“Personally, the way I viewed it was the intent of the rule was to try and get the call right,” Sullivan told the Post-Gazette. “It seems to me like adding a punitive measure to a challenge is trying to discourage a challenge, and not necessarily to get the call right. If the league wants less challenges, that’s exactly what’s going to happen because if anything’s close, I’m not sure coaches are going to run the risk. For me, it was more about the intent of the rule, which was to get the call right.”

To be honest with you, this is a great rule and needs to be implemented in college hockey. How many times have we seen a goal scored and then the opposing coach challenges the play and after a lengthy review, the goal was ruled a good goal anyway.

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