Video replay is coming to the American Hockey League.
The AHL’s Board of Governors wrapped up its Annual Summer Meeting in Hilton Head, South Carolina dealing with a variety of topics including how to implement video replay of goals for the upcoming season.
Besides video replay, the AHL discussed and approved realignment for several teams, adopting two new rule changes while testing a new rule for the National Hockey League over the course of the last four days.
The video replay system, which will be in place in time for the 2012-‘13 season, will consist of a single camera that will be provided by the league so every team has the same view, stationed above each net. The use of replay will be at the sole discretion of the referee on the ice, who will also handle the video review from a monitor at the scorer’s table.
The final decision will rest with the referee.
In keeping with rule changes adopted by the NHL, the AHL have also approved two new rules changes for the upcoming season.
• Rule 67.2 (“Handling the Puck”) now calls for a minor penalty “any time a player places his hand over the puck while it is on the ice in order to conceal it from or prevent an opponent from playing the puck”.
• Rule 76.4 (“Face-offs”) states that “both players facing off are prohibited from batting the puck with their hand in an attempt to win the face-off.” Violation of this rule will result in a minor penalty for delay of game.
The AHL is also testing a hybrid version of icing at the request of the NHL over a five week period. The rule (Rule 81) is similar to what is currently in place in collegiate hockey.
• Rule 81 (“Icing”) states that in the event of a potential icing violation, complete the play should a defending player be the first to reach the end zone face-off dots and provided the puck has crossed the goal line at that point. This rule will be in effect until Nov. 19, 2012, at which time its continued use will be determined by the Board. This was the only rules test approved.
The Board of Governors will adopt a new divisional alignment for the 2012-13 AHL season.
(NHL affiliates in parentheses):
Manchester Monarchs (LA)
Portland Pirates (PHX)
Providence Bruins (BOS)
St. John’s IceCaps (WPG)
Worcester Sharks (SJ)
Adirondack Phantoms (PHI)
Albany Devils (NJ)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)
Connecticut Whale (NYR)
Springfield Falcons (CBJ)
Binghamton Senators (OTT)
Hershey Bears (WSH)
Norfolk Admirals (ANA)
Syracuse Crunch (TB)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT)
Abbotsford Heat (CGY)
Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)
Lake Erie Monsters (COL)
Rochester Americans (BUF)
Toronto Marlies (TOR)
Chicago Wolves (VAN)
Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)
Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)
Peoria Rivermen (STL)
Rockford IceHogs (CHI)
Charlotte Checkers (CAR)
Houston Aeros (MIN)
Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)
San Antonio Rampage (FLA)
Texas Stars (DAL)
Changes from last year’s alignment include Abbotsford moving to the North Division, Grand Rapids moving to the Midwest Division and Charlotte moving to the renamed South Division.
The regular-season schedule format and playoffs format are still to be determined, and the complete playing schedule for the 2012-13 regular season, which begins Oct. 12, will be announced later this summer.
Portland Pirates managing owner, chairman and governor Lyman G. Bullard, Jr. was honored with the Thomas Ebright Award in recognition of career contributions to the AHL. Bullard has been a vital member of the AHL’s executive group since joining the Pirates in 2000, serving as chair of the league’s executive, constitution and legal affairs committees and sitting on the strategic planning and spectator safety committees. A partner at the Boston law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart, Bullard has counseled the American Hockey League through several major franchise transactions, including the 2001 expansion absorbing six former International Hockey League franchises.
The Thomas Ebright Award honors Tom Ebright, the former owner and governor of the Baltimore Skipjacks and Portland Pirates who passed away in 1997.