Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Babcock Says League Shifting Responsibility on Coaches with Challenge Rule Change

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Babcock Says League Shifting Responsibility on Coaches with Challenge Rule Change

Article excerpt

Babcock says league "put it on the coaches"

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Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock says the NHL has shifted accountability onto him and his staff as the league attempts to fix coach's challenges for offsides.

The NHL announced rule changes Wednesday approved by the league's Board of Governors, with one stating a team will be penalized with a two-minute minor if its coach challenges a goal for offside and fails. Previously the team was stripped of a timeout.

"The league made the rule. The league didn't like it. So what they did is they put it on the coaches now," Babcock said Thursday at training camp.

"Obviously they thought it happened too much in the league. They wanted to find a way to put it on us, so they put it on the coaches."

The NHL began allowing coaches to challenge goals for offside and goaltender interference two seasons ago, but felt the rule needed to be corrected for the 2017-18 season. Too often coaches challenged on the slight chance a goal would get called back.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said he ultimately wants to discourage coaches challenging an offside unless they're 100 per cent sure.

Last season there were 117 challenges for offside, 78 of which were upheld and just 39 overturned. In 2015-16 there were 88 offside challenges, 53 upheld and 35 overturned. …

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