Offside challenge change will give NHL coaches more to consider

Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan, center, talks with his players during a time-out against the San Jose Sharks in the third period in Game 6 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series Saturday, April 22, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. The Oilers won 3-1. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar). AP Photo/Tony Avelar

The offside challenge has been one of the most hotly debated rules in the NHL over the last couple of seasons. A lot of fans hate how goals are taken away because a player is ruled to have been offside by a hair. Factor in the delay while officials look at the replay, and it hasn’t been a popular use of replay.

In 2017/18, coaches will be discouraged from challenging an offside. Teams will get a 2:00 penalty if they’re wrong on an offside challenge.

“We’ll be a little more considerate of the situation and the time,” said Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan. “If we’re down 2-1 and the other team happens to score with five minutes left, and it’s really close [to being offside], we may gamble and call it there. We don’t have a lot of time left in the game anyway.”
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McLellan believes the threat of being shorthanded after having already allowed a goal will reduce the number of challenges.

“If we’re tied and they make it 2-1, we might not. We don’t want to get scored on, go back on the penalty kill right away, and give the game away. Last year, when you could gamble, when it was worth taking the risk, we took the risk. This year, we’re going to have to be a little more selective.”

The Oilers scrimmaged Saturday at Rogers Place with Team White beating Team Blue 2-1. Ryan Strome and Jujhar Khaira scored for White. Adam Larsson replied for Blue.  The lineups were:



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Veteran left winger Jussi Jokinen missed today’s session with soreness. He’s expected to back on Sunday.

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