TORONTO ON - AUGUST 18: The NHL tests a yellow verification line located behind the goal line inside the net as part of the 2010 NHL Research Development and Orientation Camp fueled by G Series on August 18 2010 in Toronto Canada. (Photo by Matthew Manor/Getty Images)

NHL Board Approves 'Verification Line,' Could Be Implemented Before Season Begins

The NHL Board of Governors has conditionally approved the institution of the "verification line," an extra line on the ice inside the net to help gauge whether a puck has crossed the goal line.

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NHL Approves Verification Line, Thinner Mesh Netting; Changes Could Come Soon

At the NHL's Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday afternoon, approval was passed to implement the "verification line" first tested at the summer's Research, Development and Orientation Camp in Toronto. The line, a three-and-a-quarter inch green mark behind the goal line and inside the net, helps replay officials gauge whether or not a puck has fully crossed into the net. 

The line was tested in an NHL preseason game on Monday night between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators, as were shallower nets that create more room below the goal line, thinner mesh along the top of the net that aids with camera angles from a birds eye view, and a plastic skirt across the bottom of the net. 

All of these changes, save the shallow nets, were also approved Tuesday. There's no time frame on exactly when the changes could be implemented into NHL rinks, and the final decision on when or if that happens will fall on the NHL's Director of Hockey Operations, Colin Campbell.

But in the case of the verification line, we could see implementation before the beginning of the 2011-12 regular season, which kicks off in about two weeks. We'll keep you posted. 

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NHL Could Make Immediate Switch To Shallow Nets After Research Camp Testing

The NHL is considering the use of smaller, shallower nets that could make goal calls and replay challenges easier — and the league could put them into use for the 2011-12 NHL season after its Research, Development, and Orientation Camp.

The proposed switch is to a net that is 40 inches deep, four inches shallower than the current 44-inch depth, and has a clear plastic strip and a built-in high definition camera that could aid in goal verification. League executive Brendan Shanahan thinks the new nets could be destined for testing use in preseason play.

“I think that the shallow nets are something that I'd really like to try in at least an exhibition game and see how players react to it,” Shanahan said Thursday.

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke indicated that the Leafs would volunteer to be one of the teams testing the nets, and coaches Dan Bylsma and Dave Tippett, of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes, respectively, had players talking about the net giving players extra space to maneuver at the end of the ice.

For more news from the NHL's Research camp, stay tuned to our StoryStream.

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