WICHITA, KS – Instant replay is one step closer to becoming a reality in ECHL rinks, but officials caution, implementing it will take some time.
In an interview with Matthew Harding for the “Into the Sin Bin” interview series, ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna says a “handful” of teams will test a new replay system during the preseason. The system will be tried out in buildings that can produce instant replay and will review goals only. McKenna says the pilot would include different arenas of varying size and infrastructure, but a firm number of arenas & which buildings will test it is still being worked out.
League officials will examine the results of the project and have discussions with the Board of Governors on whether to implement it league-wide as early as the 2018-19 season. McKenna stressed there are no plans for replay to come online at any point during the 2017-18 season.
As has been discussed on this site in past years; cost and manpower continue to be the major roadblocks standing in the way of implementing replay league-wide, but McKenna brought up additional obstacles that bring heartburn to the league:
“If you look at the NHL level, virtually every building is roughly the same size. Different configurations hockey operations perspective, they’re very much the same,” McKenna said. “If you look at our league, the buildings are very much different. We’ve got buildings that are less than 5,000 (seats) to some that are major league facility — 17,18-thousand seats. So the configurations are much different. The logistics of installing it and having it work on a consistent basis across the league are certainly challenging.”
Once implemented across the league, McKenna says there will not be a “war room” that makes the call on goals, rather, all calls will be made by officials on the ice.
“It would simply be much like the American (Hockey) League now, where it would be done through the scorer’s table, rinkside, with a device that the official could take a look, make the call and do it all within the facility itself, as opposed to going outside to bring someone else in the picture,” McKenna said.
Here is the excerpt talking about replay: