Kukla's Korner Hockey
"I pinch myself that I still get to skate around. Every year there's a new generation of kids coming in, and it's amazing how skill and how good the game is because they are getting better and better every year. It's neat because I'm a pretty lucky guy. I do my best to try and stay out of the highlights."
-NHL referee Wes McCauley. Blake Sebring of the News-Sentinel has much more on and from McCauley.
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
This, of course, is the offence-hating NHL in a nutshell. No other sport forces it’s skilled players to walk a nightly gauntlet of slashes, hacks, holds and intimidation like the good, old NHL. Every night, defence is given the edge in this and a variety of other ways, which is one reason scoring is at a historic low.
Now let’s be clear here. Kadri is no saint. He yaps. He’s been in trouble for giving the throat slashing gesture. He has strong opinions about his own ability. But he isn’t a suck. He takes on all comers. He fought the much bigger David Backes to start this season. He doesn’t look to teammates for protection.
But the NHL, in the way its officials are dealing with the Leaf forward, are not only sending mixed messages, they’re reinforcing the generally held belief that the rule book is whatever referees want it to be. They can not only apply it differently in the third period to the first, and on Monday in St. Louis versus Thursday in Ottawa, but that they also can, in essence, wage campaigns against certain players if they so choose.
We know that’s human nature. Fool me once and all that. Alex Burrows knows that story. But as Babcock said last March, fine, but enough’s enough.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
A hair before David Krejci pulled the puck into the offensive zone, Ryan Spooner, driving the middle at full roar, sprinted over the blue line. Driscoll and Meyer did not spot Spooner’s premature entry into the zone. Only the two cameras positioned at each side of the blue line concluded the play should be considered null and void.
It was the video provided by those cameras, initiated by Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice’s challenge, that scrubbed the goal and the 11 seconds of events — Krejci’s backdoor feed to Spooner, Spooner and Danton Heinen digging for the puck on the wall, Krejci’s heavy forecheck to force a Ben Chiarot turnover — before Chara’s shot went in the net.
“I get why it was put in there,” said Bruins president Cam Neely of the coach’s challenge. “But it’s such a fast game. There’s blatant offsides that happen. I don’t know. I’m a little ambivalent about the rule.”
Neely’s gripe is a common one. The coach’s challenge, introduced in 2015, was meant to overturn the slam-dunk whiff.
more pluse additional league-wide topics...
via Michael Russo tweets,
NHL coach's challenge wrinkle this year: Toronto Situation Room will make MOST of the offside rulings to speed up process
Linesmen will assist on difficult offside reviews (possession, control/tag up. Refs still have final say on goalie interference
We need more of this in the NHL.
from Dave Stubbs of NHL.com,
For his poise in the heat of action, Udvari was assigned by Voss to many of the NHL's toughest games between the League's fiercest rivals, powder-keg contests that were in constant danger of explosion.
"Guys in the game today have no idea how tough players were in those days, like Rocket Richard and Lindsay," Udvari told Irvin. "In the warmup, Lindsay would tell guys on the other team he was going to cut their (expletive) head off. I mean, he was mad already, and the game hadn't even started. The ferociousness and the way they focused on the game was unbelievable."
There were light moments -- sort of. Udvari recalled once giving the Red Wings five consecutive penalties and having the great Howe skate over to sneer at the No. 1 on his referee's back, saying that Udvari still was only second-best. Asked who was best, Mr. Hockey replied, "Everybody else is tied."
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
- Veteran NHL linesman Don Henderson, brutalized by Dennis Wideman’s blindside assault during a game on Jan. 27, three weeks ago required neck surgery to repair damage from the hit and friends of his worry that his officiating career may be finished.
Henderson, 47, was near the boards, with his back to Wideman, when the Flames defenseman skated into him, inexplicably lifting his arms and knocking Henderson to the ice. Typically not one to engage in rough stuff, particularly during his four-year stint with the Bruins, Wideman appeared to leave his feet when making contact — a move that usually would bring a charging call and/or game misconduct if it were perpetrated against another player....
- ... If Holland is convinced Mrazek is his No. 1, the most obvious salary “fix’’ would be to move Howard, the 32-year-old ex-UMaine Black Bear. Howard is on the books for three more years at $5.3 million per, a fairly comfortable number for a No. 1, especially with his solid résumé. One possible move would have the Wings retaining, say, a third of his salary. The acquiring team would have a proven No. 1 for roughly $3.6 million (cheaper than Mrazek) and the Wings would have to carry only $1.7 million of his cap hit.
- Once the Oilers moved Taylor Hall to New Jersey to acquire puck-moving defenseman Adam Larsson, it meant all of the top six picks in the 2010 draft were no longer with the clubs that drafted them.
No. 7 that year, Jeff Skinner, remains in Carolina, where GM Ron Francis has opted instead to move out virtually everyone else — notwithstanding the somewhat curious move to bring back struggling goaltender Cam Ward on a new two-year deal.
To recap the 2010 top six:....
more on each of the above topics plus other hockey topics...
from Claire Rogers of GolfDigest,
There are several big names in this week’s RBC Canadian Open field, but Garrett Rank is one you probably haven’t heard. The 28-year-old Ontario native, cancer survivor and NHL referee has been able to balance and pursue his passion and his profession with grace and determination. After winning the 2015 Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship for the second straight year, Rank earned an invitation to Glen Abbey Golf Club. His amateur record includes finishing second in the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur, making it to match play in the 2014 and 2015 U.S. Amateur and reaching the semifinals in this year’s U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at Winged Foot.
To reach his country’s biggest golf tournament speaks to Rank’s persistence. After being diagnosed with testicular cancer during his collegiate golf and hockey careers, he continued to stay involved in both sports, going on to lead a double life: one on the course, the other on the rink as an NHL referee.
Hockey had always come before golf in Rank’s world. At age 4, Rank stepped onto his family’s backyard rink where he learned to skate. While Rank failed to qualify for his provincial golf championships, his junior hockey team made the Ontario finals three years in a row.
from Peter Gobis of the Sun Chronicle,
The odometer on Ryan Daisy’s 2007 Ford clicked over to 200,000 a few weeks ago when he had just crossed the border into Massachusetts, heading home to Mansfield.
Ask Daisy for a roster of restaurants that serve a home-cooked meal or establishments with late-night hours and he can rattle off more than a handful. Twenty-four hour gas stations, cold arenas and screaming fans, the differing styles of play between the USHL, the ECHL and the AHL — Daisy has an answer for them all.
“It’s been a long six years of pounding pavement, a lot of roads, a lot of miles,” said Daisy, who is newly minted as an NHL linesman for the upcoming 2016-17 season.
“It’s every kid’s dream to one day play in the NHL. I knew in my teenage years that dream was not going to come true.”
Now, it is Daisy who is wearing the striped shirt — in the NHL, no less.
The 28-year-old Daisy was one of four officials appointed to assignments at NHL arenas next season. Last season, the NHL saw the retirements of referees Rob Martell, Greg Kimmerly and Dennis LaRue, along with linesmen Mike Cvik, Brad Lazarowich and Andy McElman.
Daisy is a product of the USA Hockey Officiating Development Program.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org