Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Paul Stewart at the Huffington Post,
Shortly after my retirement from the NHL as an active referee, the Hockey News asked me to name the five biggest whiners I had to deal with on the ice. In descending order from one to five, the players were Chris Gratton, Tyson Nash, Craig Janney, Steve Yzerman and Keith Tkachuk. I'll share stories about the other players some other time but for now, I talk about Gratton.
If you ever looked at Chris Gratton's career, he was the type of player that in the era in which I played would have been branded as a pseudo tough guy. He was bold and brave when either playing at home and/or going up against someone much smaller or at the end of a long shift when Gratton had just hopped on the ice. On the road, he could often carry a carton of eggs in his sweater without breaking any.
Gratton also complained about pretty much every call that did not go his way. He'd give my linesmen grief if he sent in a play two feet offside and the play got whistled down. According to him, he was never guilty of a penalty; to the point that, even when he did have a legitimate beef, he'd already cried wolf too many times before.
much more, a good read...
Official Hockey Hall of Fame press release is below...
“I think with the diving, with the embellishment, I think it really detracts from the game. The players that were on the competition committee felt the same way. There’s really strong sentiment from both sides to do something about it.”
“I think they’re incumbent upon us to put in place. It’s not about really embarrassing the player, it’s about making it a better game.”
“It can become a bit of an epidemic. We want to make sure that it’s something that we can make the players know who’s doing it and I think they’d feel guilty about it.”
-Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. Read more from Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe plus other topics too.
"I'm saying one time per game, one goal, one time per coach. That's it. It's not going to happen that often.
"Let's get it right."
-Dale Tallon, GM of the Florida Panthers on a coaches challenge on goalie interference and offside. More on what Tallon is up to these days from Damien Cox of The Spin.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The easiest thing you can do in a fast game played on ice is to second-guess the judgment calls of referees. There are bound to be mistakes. However, that is also the No. 1 reason why video replay will eventually be expanded — although defining exactly what can and can’t be reviewed will admittedly be no small task.
The league’s competition committee and general managers will each meet in the coming days in New York and the topic will have to be raised. It has been discussed a number of times in the past and you have to believe that a critical mass of support will eventually build to affect change.
The other three major professional sports leagues in North America have all expanded their video review processes in recent years and the quality (and quantity) of replays seems to improve with each passing season. It serves the interests of everyone to get calls right, especially on plays resulting in goals in games carrying as much meaning as these ones.
There is already plenty of space in the NHL rulebook devoted to protecting goalies — both inside and outside the crease.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
The camera often catches intense debates between players or coaches and the officials but misses the lighter, humorous side that helps to bring the temperature down and build healthy professional working relationships. I learned early in my career that the use of humor, when appropriate (especially self-deprecating), had its place on the ice.
Early in my very first season as a referee, I had a game where the home team was getting soundly trounced and their frustration was continuously being directed at me. I responded with multiple misconduct penalties and, toward the end of the game, players were sitting three deep in the penalty box. Following another goal that took the score in double digits, the coach sent his captain over to have a word with me. Very politely the captain asked, "Mr. Referee, my coach wants to know if he can get a penalty for thinking?" I said, "Probably not if he doesn't think out loud." The captain then said, "In that case, my coach thinks you are a F-ing A-hole!" I not only found the coaches comment to be creative but very funny and I began to laugh. The stern look on the face of the coach changed to a grin and then he began to laugh as well. The humor we shared in that moment, albeit at my expense, broke the ice and taught me a valuable lesson that would serve me throughout my career.
read on for more...
from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post,
New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault has suggested that NHL linesman Scott Driscoll is partly to blame for inciting winger Dan Carcillo in a chaotic sequence of events during Thursday’s playoff game, a sequence that led to a 10-game suspension....
“My biggest disappointment in the whole thing is probably what’s happening to Dan Carcillo,” Vigneault told reporters on Saturday. “At the end of the day, if the right call is made on the ice, that whole situation doesn’t happen.”
Carcillo had been assessed a charging minor.
“I still don’t understand why Scott grabbed him in that fashion,” Vigneault said. “All Scott had to do was tell him — Dan didn’t know he had a penalty — ‘can you come to the box with me here? you’ve got a penalty.’”
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Good work, NHL. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it as long as this nonsense keeps happening: The NHL needs guys like Brandon Prust and Dan Carcillo to keep its players safe from guys like Brandon Prust and Dan Carcillo. And the NHL and its culture of violence is every bit as culpable for all of this as the perpetrators were.
Was Carcillo guilty of an enormous brain cramp when he whacked Driscoll with his stick? Yes, but it should come as no surprise because the guys like him who are employed to keep the temperature down are the ones who cause the vast majority of this kind of stuff. Did Prust intend to hurt Stepan or did he target Stepan’s head? No, but players like Prust make their living doing things like, among other things, “finishing their checks” which is code for making them pay for carrying the puck or making a pass.
The league maintains that the Prust his was not a headshot in the classic sense – that the hit began at Stepan’s chest and landed on his jaw without intent to target his head. That’s why he wasn’t suspended under Rule 48. We get that. But when four officials are on the ice and either don’t see that or the game is too fast for them to make a decision on it, then it’s time the video replay department in Toronto took control over the decisions the way they do with disputed goals.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Two games. This is the uh, price, of an eye for eye in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Two games. This is the woeful response of the NHL to an act of frontier justice that injures an opponent.
Two games for the Canadiens’ Brandon Prust for breaking Derek Stepan’s jaw with a late hit from the blindside that caught the Blueshirts center in the face just 2:55 into Thursday’s Game 3 at the Garden … a hit for which the Montreal winger was not penalized by the grossly incompetent officiating crew, featuring referees Kevin Pollock and Marc Joannette.
added 9:13am, from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
from Rick Carpiniello of USA TODAY,
You have to have some sympathy for the guys doing all the bleeding and battling for a Stanley Cup.
Not because of the blood or the battle.
You have to have sympathy because they have no idea what the rules are, night to night, period to period, shift to shift.
Officiating in the NHL has become an epidemic, a major problem, in a sport where everything happens so fast and with so much brutality, by bigger players with weapons and walls.
But today's big, fast, brutal players? They don't have a clue.
New game, new rule book. Embellishment? First round, yes. After, no. Head shots? Bring 'em on. No penalties, no fines, no suspensions. Spears to the groin? No problem. Slew foot (hockey term for a real cheap shot)? Never called, and often perpetrated by the best players — Sidney Crosby, P.K. Subban among them.
from John Steigerwald of the Indiana Gazette,
Maybe Sidney Crosby should just quit.
It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. He shared a home with the former Best Player in the World, who quit when he was 31 years old.
Yep. That’s what Mario Lemieux did after the 1996-97 season, and when he did it, everybody understood. They knew he was fed up with the stupidity of the NHL. If you were around back then, you remember that Lemieux made it known that he was going to retire after that season, so it wasn’t a shock when the guy who led the league in scoring with 50 goals and 72 assists decided to pack it in.
Think about that for a second. This wasn’t a broken-down player who was struggling to play up to the ridiculous standard that he had set for himself. This was a 50-goal scorer saying he’d had enough with the NHL’s refusal to enforce the rules and was walking away. Not to become a team executive or owner. That would come later. He was headed for the golf course and as far away as he could get from the game he loved.
That just doesn’t happen in sports.
The most talented player ever to pick up a hockey stick just couldn’t deal with the stupidity anymore.
Well, guess what? The stupidity is back. Big-time.
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