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NHL will keep closer eye on arena clocks

The league will pay more attention to the clock during the final minute of each period as a result of an unexplained pause during a game Feb. 1 at Staples Center that gave the Kings extra time to score the winning goal.

February 16, 2012|By Helene Elliott
  • Drew Doughty, center, celebrates with teammates Justin Williams and Jack Johnson after scoring the decisive goal against the Blue Jackets as time expired at Staples Center two weeks ago.
Drew Doughty, center, celebrates with teammates Justin Williams and Jack… (Harry How / Getty Images )

Officials in the NHL's situation room will more closely observe the final minute of each period of each game and will refine the overall game-timing process as the result of the league's investigation into a pause of the Staples Center clock during the Kings' game against Columbus on Feb. 1. That hesitation added a second to the final period and allowed Drew Doughty score the winning goal.

Colin Campbell, the NHL's senior vice president of hockey operations, said Thursday that the clock's maker, Daktronics, had examined the clock and found "no defects." He also said the off-ice crew working that game had been interviewed and that he was "completely satisfied" with the clock operator, whom he would not identify.

However, Campbell said he plans to rotate the crew members' duties "to avoid any thoughts there may be issues with the clock when opposing teams play at the Staples Center."

Off-ice officials are employed by the NHL and fill such roles as official scorer, penalty box time-keeper and game time-keeper. During NBA games at the arena, a device attached to a referee's whistle stops the clock when the whistle is blown. The clock resumes when a referee presses a button on a device worn at the waist.

"We have initiated a number of steps to ensure there will be no clock issues in all arenas in the NHL," Campbell said in an email.

"We are observing all 'last minutes' of each period to make sure there are no 'blips' or 'pauses' in the last minute in the video booths upstairs. In our new video room in Toronto we now receive live feeds of the overheads so we are not 'slaved' to TV waiting to see if they show the overheads.

"We will find a way to bleed the clock feed into the overheads now. We have implemented a few other items into the clock process as well to make sure there can be no burps."

helene.elliott@latimes.com

twitter.com/helenenothelen

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