Golden Knights owner Bill Foley said an NHL “senior executive” called him Wednesday morning and admitted an error was made by officials in assessing a crucial major penalty to Cody Eakin during Tuesday night’s Game 7 in San Jose.
“They called and basically said it was a bad call, it was a mistake, we recognize the mistake and we acknowledge it,” Foley said. “I did feel a little better after that. It calmed me down.”
Added Knights general manager George McPhee said: “The league did reach out and apologize. They made a mistake and I’m sure (the officials) feel bad about it. They want to get things right like we all do when we’re doing our jobs.”
Foley plans to personally pursue rule changes after the call helped end the Knights’ second season. The Sharks scored four times during the third-period power play and erased a 3-0 deficit, eventually winning 5-4 in overtime and advancing to the second round of the playoffs.
To avoid a similar mistake in the future, Foley said he plans to push to make major penalties as the only other reviewable plays besides goals. As an NHL owner, Foley is one of the league’s board of governors, which can make recommendations for rules changes.
“I believe it should be a reviewable play,” Foley said. “I think that a coach should be able to challenge a major penalty, particularly during the last period of the game and particularly during the playoffs.
“That’s going to be up to the league to make that determination. I believe the league is thinking about it and is going to be receptive to that kind of change.”
The NHL-NHL Players’ Association competition committee meets next during the Stanley Cup Final and the league’s board of governors meets in June. Both organizations must review and approve any rule changes.