WICHITA, KS – Instant replay may not be far from becoming a reality in ECHL rinks.
In an interview with Matthew Harding for the “Into the Sin Bin” interview series, ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna says a handful of ECHL teams will test a new replay system during the preseason. The system will be tried out in five buildings which already have the capacity to produce instant replay and will review goals only.
“We are in the process now of working with our hockey operations people to put a protocol in place,” McKenna said. “It (protocol) would be outlined during our board of governors meeting in september.”
McKenna says league officials will examine the results of the project and have discussions about whether to implement it league-wide as early as the 2018-19 season. There are no plans for replay to come online at any point during the 2017-18 season.
McKenna did not comment, either on-the-record or off, on which sites would be receiving the pilot replay system project for the exhibition season.
Once implemented across the league, McKenna says there will not be a “war room” that makes the call on goals, rather, they will be done by the 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.
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. In the interview, McKenna brought up two more obstacles that bring heartburn to the league on this issue:
“If you look at the NHL level, virtually every building is roughly the same size. Different configuratons, but from a 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 — 17-18,000 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.”
Here is the excerpt talking about replay:
Harding’s conversation with the ECHL Commissioner will debut on Into the Sin Bin this Thursday at 1 pm ET/Noon CT.
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