SUN Hockey Pool

NHL tweaks shootout

AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- To deal with some minor problems that had cropped up in the shootout, the National Hockey League passed a couple of rules yesterday.

All shootout shots are now subject to review to make sure that any goal is legal. In the past, some referee decisions on shootouts had not been considered reviewable.

In cases of long shootouts, if a team has players unavailable because of injury and thereby qualifies to use its first shooter again, the opposing team also gets to go back to the top of its list, even if it has players who have not shot.

"We had a few tweaks on the shootout," said Colin Campbell, the league's executive vice-president for hockey matters. "We knew that there could be problems ... when you have as many shots as we were going to have."

- The board overwhelmingly approved the standard of officiating that has been imposed this season.

"It has been tough at times," Campbell said. "There have been some tough calls and calls that have certainly decided games late, but everyone wants us to stay the course."

Added referee-in-chief Stephen Walkom, "Looking ahead, I think it is really good for our guys to know Gary Bettman and the owners are behind them in their mission to call the NHL standard from Game 1 (of the season) to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final if it goes that far.

"That's encouraging because there's really no division in that regard, which is great."

- Pittsburgh Penguins president Ken Sawyer still is hoping that his team will be able to stay in Pittsburgh.

"We have a plan that's tied to gaming," he said, "but it will be an unbelievable plan, the best in the history of Pennsylvania for the public sector.

"So we think it's a no-brainer. But it will take at least a year to find out if our gaming partner wins the licence.

"We're not leaving Pittsburgh until June 2007 at the earliest. If we get this deal, we'll be in Pittsburgh."


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