Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: NHL-Officiating

All Stephen Walkom

from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,

THN: You started as an NHL official in 1990. What do you think is the biggest change in calling a game between then and now?

WALKOM: It used to be, when you refereed the game, it was “your game.” You refereed the game. There was really no NHL standard on penalty calling and enforcement. Now in the game, there’s a standard on everything from how we set up at faceoffs, to how we present the puck, to hooking, to holding, to interference, and it doesn't matter what you're doing as an official in the game of hockey.

There has been video guidance given to everybody, a standard that's expected by fans, players, coaches and even officials on how the game is to be called. We never had video back then. When we came to training camp, we would read the rulebook. Now we see the rulebook and we see lots of plays, lots of situations, and we see them visually, so that's a big change from an officiating perspective. I also think it’s affected the way the game is called. There’s a lot more consistency right across the NHL.

When I came into the NHL a long time ago, we were looked at as a league that was an outlier compared to all other hockey leagues. Now I think the NHL is really a leader in (officiating), because no matter what we do in the NHL, every other professional league in the world and a lot of the amateur leagues are all trying to duplicate it almost immediately. Everything from all the faceoffs on the nine dots, to pucks deflecting off in the attacking zone and all staying inside, standard of enforcement, across a whole multitude of penalties. Everybody is looking at our situation handbook, everybody's looking at our rulebook, and everybody's looking at our best practices in terms of how we apply them and try to duplicate them. That, to me, is great for the game.

THN: With social media spawning mobs of fans scrutinizing replays every night, is officiating a tougher job than it used to be?

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Nothing Has Changed

from Stan Fischer of The Fischler Report at the Hockey News,

During lunch with Gary Bettman, I told him that I had a beef with the officiating.

The commissioner then reached into his vest pocket and pulled out an envelope with a letter inside.

"I'm going to read you the letter," the National Hockey League's boss said, "and I want you to guess who wrote it."

It was a tough read; flowing with zebra criticism and concluding with demands for reform.

"Now take a guess," Bettman confidently went on, "and guess who?"

Knowing my longtime buddy and his candor, I snapped, "It's gotta be Brian Burke."

The Commish shook his head and handed me the missive. Instantly, I blushed. It was written by Rangers manager-coach Lester Patrick in the year 1933.

"You see," noted The Lord of Hockey, "nothing has changed."


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line- Travis Yost

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Call The Rule Book

from Travis Yost of TSN,

Before the regular season started, the National Hockey League announced officiating changes for the enforcement of Rule 59, signalling a tightened standard for how cross-checking would be called.

It was an interesting action for several reasons. Chief among them: I think there was growing fatigue about the number of uncalled cross-checks in games, particularly during postseason hockey. The league is always trying to counterbalance entertainment value and free-flowing play against the threshold of what they consider to be a penalty, and for years it was skewing too aggressively in one direction. Off-puck players could get away with hammering forwards in the interior with no regard for any sort of penalty call (or the other player’s safety, for that matter).

It was also interesting because of the dialogue that has followed this season. One of the leading topics has been about the broader standard for officiating, with Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid in the centre of the debate.

McDavid, who can more or less carve up any defence at will, has drawn just nine minor penalties this season. It puts him in the top 10 league-wide, but anyone who watches these Oilers games knows that number could be 20 (or 30). Defences are doing whatever they can, most of which is illegal, to try and slow down the supernova talent.

So, the debate goes: Does the NHL need to call more penalties to improve the value of the product on the ice, not dissimilar to attempts made coming out of the 2004-05 lockout?


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- The Life Of Tim Peel

via the YouTube page of KSDK News,

Tim Peel was a referee in the NHL for more than 20 years.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Quinton Byfield And Linesman Ryan Gibbons Injured Last Night

via ESPN News Services,

Quinton Byfield, the second overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft, suffered a lower body injury during the third period of the Los Angeles Kings' 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes in a preseason game Tuesday night.

The 19-year-old center hit the corner boards awkwardly during a collision with Arizona right wing Christian Fischer. Byfield was unable to put any weight on his left leg and was helped off the ice.

Coach Todd McLellan said after the game that Byfield will be further evaluated Wednesday.

"It was a clean hit. It was unfortunate," McLellan said of the play. "He went into the boards. One skate went one way and one the other. It's in a corner. If it is in a straightaway, he would have got away with rolling off but there was nowhere to go. Not a dirty hit."

Linesman Ryan Gibbons also was injured at Tuesday night's game. Gibbons collided with Arizona center Liam O'Brien following the national anthem, and the start of the game was delayed as Gibbons was taken off the ice on a stretcher. His condition was not immediately known.

Below, watch the incident with the linesman, replay starts at the :58 second mark and the Byfield injury is below too.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Let’s Go To The Review

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line- Tim Peel

“So I hear my phone vibrating on the corner and I go pick it up and it’s my boss, Steven… the first thing I thought was ‘did we miss a goal?’ And he said ‘we’ve got a big problem’ and he tells me. I didn’t even remember it until I watched it. I turned to the (other refs) in the dressing room and I went ‘I may get fired tonight.”

And later, Peel had to confront the Predators franchise about what had happened.

“[Predators GM] Mr. [David} Poile had already left the building, so (I was on phone) with him and I explained to him that was not my intent. My intent was not to get Nashville. I said to him ‘I made a terrible mistake, my words came out wrong’,” Peel told Poile. “And John Hynes, who is a tremendous human being and a coach, he came out and he goes ‘Timmy I know you didn’t mean that,’ and I go ‘John I didn’t… you know I was always fair and tried to make it a fair and safe environment for hte players, and a fair game for the players’ and I go ‘I’m so sorry’ and I could tell he felt bad because he could see how upset I was and how terrible I felt.”

-Tim Peel, former NHL ref.  Zach Laing of Daly Faceoff has more.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Enforcing The Cross-Check

from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,

So, look what’s happening this fall. A crackdown on cross-checking, or a new effort by the league to allow the officials to enforce the rule book. The idea is that players with two hands on their stick can “push or guide” an opponent, but not use “excessive force.” What constitutes excessive force will, of course, probably have a great deal to do with the score of a game, how much time is left and how many penalties have been called.

In other words, don’t hold your breath for this to last past Christmas.

But it does underline the actual problem here. NHL referees are not incompetent, but they are constantly hamstrung by a head office that won’t do what is necessary to free up the most skilled players in the game and is terrified of critics who complain the game isn’t physical enough any more.

If the cross-checking problem is solved effectively, it will be good for the game. Even though, according to Bettman, there was never a problem in the first place.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- The Standard For Cross-Checking

via NHL.com,

NHL Hockey Operations explains the revised standard of enforcement for Rule 59 Cross-checking.



from Scouting the Refs,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com



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