Adam Oates is about to get his first taste of the NHL as a head coach.
Having played 19 seasons for seven different NHL teams and having served as an assistant coach for two others, the Capitals new head coach is in Toronto today and Wednesday discussing the nuances of what constitutes a penalty and what does not.
Oates is on a panel that includes veteran NHL head coaches Joel Quenneville, Dave Tippett and Barry Trotz, along with NHL general managers Steve Yzerman, Ray Shero, Lou Lamoriello, Darcy Regier and Mike Gillis, senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell, and a group of players, referees and other members of league ops.
The two-day conference will focus on the way hooking, holding and interference is called during the season and playoffs and whether referees need to tighten up the way they call games.
Personally, I dont think the hooking and holding has slipped, Campbell told TSN. I think we have to find out what we want with interference on the forechecking and interference off the faceoff.
Since the NHL introduced a major crackdown on interference following the 2004-05 lockout, one of the biggest concerns expressed by defensemen is the dangers they face when retreating to get pucks out of their own zone.
Without interference, opposing forecheckers are getting a free path to those unsuspecting defensemen and drilling them into the boards behind the net.
Another issue among players is the recent trend of players turning their backs to opposing checkers with the intent of drawing boarding penalties.
Weve got lots of video clips to look at and we're trying to determine where our standard is and if we want to tighten it up at all, Campbell said.
Whats your take on NHL officiating since the last lockout? Are referees calling enough interference penalties? Not enough? And are players putting themselves in danger by turning their backs on opponents?Join the conversation below.