Yes the AHL is the development league of the NHL and many young players are trying to reach that ultimate goal. But with so many times this season not only during Chicago Wolves games but across the league goals are being disallowed and vice versa. It's time for the league to take an initiative and implement instant replay.
In February League President Dave Andrews had this to say about the future of the possibility of instant replay in the AHL:
"Replay is inevitable, but the league wants to make sure that when it's done, it's done right. And getting it right sometimes becomes a lot more costly than even what we're thinking about now."
Now not being a fan of Dave Andrews in the past this statement makes me cringe to the point that I think he is only there to make sure things run daily. It doesn't seem he is looking toward the future of the league and help attendance for each team rise and get calls right when they are visibly wrong. Whatever the case, instant replay is needed and the sooner the better.
Over the past few months the AHL Facebook page has been getting a lot of complaints about the quality of referees doing games and there are plenty of times where the Wolves have been shafted out of a possible 2 points. Could it be the training of the current referees, or is the AHL pushing the refs too fast and they aren't developed enough to handle the work load? All questions that Andrews has avoided in the past and with instant replay that could help the calls on the ice on whether they stand or are reversed.
The financial stability of some teams is in question year after year and with the possibility of teams moving after each season is something that can be a negative towards the implementation of instant replay. However, with the number around 50 thousand dollars for the cameras, video, and employees to view the videos it would be pricey for some owners. But if that price would improve the quality of games and make fans feel like they haven't been cheated out of their money it would make the AHL that much more profitable.
Many would say 50 thousand dollars is expensive number and some would balk at the idea. But looking at what could happen with instant replay is that calls would be corrected if need be, when a referee is out of position. The Wolves have been a guinea pig of sorts of why replay would have helped them this year with whistles going to soon, and bad positioning by an official.
It's all in the hands of Dave Andrews and I hope there is some kind of instant replay for the upcoming season. It would be a costly system to implement in each arena at first, but there are far more positives than negatives. Hopefully there is more to come during the summer about this situation because with hockey the game is a fast paced game and the referees are human like us. A call will be missed from time to time and instant replay is a safety net to get those calls correct. The cost would be high but the play would be that much better on the ice. All depends which direction the AHL wants to go and make that draw to fans that much more positive.