Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The area of inconsistency undermining the NHL isn’t supplementary discipline as applied by VP Brendan Shanahan, but rather initial discipline as determined by the league’s referees.
Seriously, one night Ryan Callahan is called for goaltender interference on the Island for kind of brushing against Evgeni Nabokov on a play going nowhere, but a few nights later nothing is called against the Penguins’ Matt Cooke in Winnipeg for knocking aside Ondrej Pavelec while a goal is being scored by Zbynek Michalek.
What’s the standard?
One night, Brandon Prust is called for boarding in Vancouver for having the Canucks’ Andrew Alberts fall down into him while finishing a check at the slightest touch.
But a couple of nights later, Cory Sarich gets away scot-free in Calgary for nailing Brad Richards from behind in front of the Rangers’ bench—not far, coincidentally, from the spot on the ice where Curtis Glencross concussed Chris Drury a couple of years ago.
What’s the standard?
The game continues to get faster. The NHL’s referees have not kept up.
From John A. Torres in Florida Today.com:
It was 1971 in Richmond, Va., when then 35-year-old Eastern Hockey League linesman Jim Galluzzi locked his arms around Dave Schultz and dragged him down to the ice.
Schultz was a 23-year-old whose future as a star left wing and brawler with Philadelphia’s notorious “Broad Street Bullies” was still before him.
“Come on, Schultzie. I’m getting too old for this stuff,” Galluzzi pleaded as he broke up the hockey fight. “Break it off.”
Little did Galluzzi know he’d still be skating well into his 60s and officiating professional hockey games into his mid-70s.
“I guess I’ll keep doing it until they put me in a box,” laughed the 75-year-old who heads the NHL’s off-ice officials for every Tampa Bay Lightning home game.
from Morgan Ian Adams of the Enterprise-Bulletin,
The men who patrol North America’s pro ice rinks will be back in the area in September to gear up for the upcoming NHL season.
This is the fifth year the National Hockey League’s officiating staff have held their training camp in The Blue Mountains, and according to referee Stephen Walkom, the trip north has proven to be a rewarding and refreshing experience for the men who keep order on North America’s professional ice rinks.
“A lot of the guys had never been up there, and the first time, it was a real surprise for everybody,” he said. “Training camp, at one time, was something we all dreaded.
“But now we look forward to getting on the bus (to come north) to get ready for the season,” he said. “It’s about team building and learning, and it gets us in the right mode for the season.”
The NHL’s Research, Development and Orientation Camp begins Wednesday in Toronto with 36 junior players being abused and confused by a slew of rule changes - designed to make the game better. This year, the experiments include: The two refs can talk to one another on the fly, which would be helpful in deciding what penalty Chicago Blackhawks forward Dan Carcillo deserves next.
-Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail.
from Sarah Spain of ESPNW,
In 1995, Heather McDaniel made news all over the country as the first woman to officiate a men’s professional hockey game. For a number of years she worked minor league games in the Central Hockey League and the West Coast Hockey League.
In 1999, she got pregnant and stopped working pro hockey. There hasn’t been a female referee in the men’s professional game since.
There are roughly 2,800 registered female hockey officials in North America today, but just a few have worked the men’s game, and none at a higher level than juniors.
Times have changed since McDaniel roamed the ice. The women’s game has developed and flourished, giving accomplished female officials plenty of work without having to cross over to the men’s game.
from Brent Baburich at Penguins.com,
In 2009, he (Steve Waters) worked one of the USA Hockey 18U National Semi-Finals. In 2010, he was assigned the PA State High School AA Championship and last season he worked the Robert Morris-RIT game at the Island Sports Center that saw the Colonials bring in the largest home crowd in program history (1,200 fans). It would seem fair to say that Steve has a lot of hockey-related experience and memories. However, last month he was given an experience of a lifetime.
Steve was one of 20 officials invited to attend the NHL Exposure Camp in Toronto. This camp is designed to bring together people that have played at a high-level of hockey who are looking to pursue officiating more seriously now that they are done playing. The NHL holds the belief that this type of player will make for a good official as he or she should have developed a high “hockey IQ” during their time playing. Steve knew how lucky he was to be selected for this opportunity. He said, “It really meant a lot to be invited to this camp. I was told that there was an extremely large amount of applications for NHL Exposure this year and only 20 were selected. It was truly an honor.”
From Kerry Fraser at TSN:
There will be a third team on the ice as well. Their deep desire is to avoid becoming (or perceived as) a negative factor in the outcome of this game. Added pressure will certainly be on them to achieve this objective given the events to this point in the series. How they prepare themselves (& are prepared by Officiating/Hockey Ops) will go a long way to achieving a successful result in their performance. I say with the utmost confidence that all of us hope the officials will be a non factor in this final game. Let me share some thoughts on my preparation and occasional obstacles to overcome in memorable game 7’s that I worked.
Dealing with pressure is unique to every player and official; individual coping skills are developed along the way. Experience is often the best teacher when dealing with the internal combustion associated with the pressure of a Game 7. Sometimes you even have to incubate yourself from everything just so you don’t crawl out of your skin prior to the game.
The first time that I was thrust into a Game 7 pressure cooker was in the Battle of Quebec in 1985.
Stephen Walkom was mic’d up for game 3 of the SCF.
CBC’s John F. Molinaro talks to former NHL official Dan Marouelli, a veteran of four Stanley Cup Finals.
CBCSports.ca: Will the NHL talk to the officials before the game tonight?
Marouelli: Absolutely. Terry Gregson [the NHL’s director of officiating] and Kris King [series supervisor] will sit down with them for sure. The big message Terry and Kris will send to them is that the precedent has been set. There’s been a lack of discipline. It was a very aggressive hockey game last time. I would be looking to have them set the tone early in this hockey game. But they will also tell them not to overreact, and therein lies the fine line. Gregson and King will inform both coaches and both GMs of the direction the officials will go if things start to go south tonight.
CBCSports.ca: How do officials tread that fine line?
Marouelli: You need to establish your presence early, and normally that’s through some form of verbal communication with the coaches or role players who are out on the ice. Any time when I was involved in games like this, I was quick to verbalize to the bench and to any players that needed to be cautioned, and then make sure you follow through quickly when something happens.
and much more on the Rome/Horton situation, and other officiating issues
Kerry Fraser at TSN answered this email today…
I have always been curious as to why NHL referees do not have to give post-game interviews, especially in the playoffs. Since technically the NHL fans pay the referee’s salary from revenues generated by their ticket purchases, I often feel like we deserve an answer....
I couldn’t agree with you more about allowing media access to the officials for post-game comments. It is a position I have always held. At the very least a pool reporter should have access to the officials and then provide quotes to the rest of his colleagues in the media. Failing this, an official statement should be released by the vice-president of officiating, Terry Gregson or through the league’s media relations department.
The media has access to players and coaches following a game and they can be asked about calls that went against them. Those responses are always biased and often emotional. Why not gain a perspective from the person that made the decision? The media could then provide a more balanced report of an incident to you, the fan.
The truth is that most of the officials would welcome the opportunity to express their reasoning behind decisions on calls and non-calls; even if it was just an honest statement of, “I missed it - I blew the call.”
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.
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