Kukla's Korner Hockey
fromPierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Dan Marouelli had a request. Let him start his final NHL season in Helsinki.
Terry Gregson, the new director of NHL officiating, agreed. Marouelli kicked off his farewell season by working both Chicago-Florida games at Hartwall Arena.
“Terry Gregson was kind enough,” the veteran NHL referee told me before we both departed Finland this past weekend. “It’s a wonderful way to start the last year. It was spectacular.”
Marouelli will be joined in retirement by fellow vets Bill McCreary and Kerry Fraser after this season, three big names to leave the ice. Add in last season’s retirements of Rob Schick and Don Koharski, and you’re talking about a major transition for the NHL’s men in stripes. Some well-respected and top-notch talent is making way for the kids.
“It’s interesting to see the transition,” said Marouelli. “It’s fitting we’re all leaving together and turning it over to the young guys now.”
from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,
It’s a job many onlookers think they can do better than the ones wearing the orange bands after a disagreeable call is made, but there is more to this job than meets the eye through a television screen or reverse replay angle.
Building off the popularity of last season’s ‘A Scout’s Life’ feature, every other week we will explore what it takes, what it means to be and what goes through the mind of an official to familiarize fans with this polarizing corner of the game. We’ll not only touch on NHL referees, but also the minor leagues, junior leagues, all the way down to the local minor hockey level where it all begins.
“I grew up not a great hockey player, so, fortunately, I learned at a young enough age I wasn’t going to go anywhere playing,” said pro referee David Banfield. “My dad was a ref himself, so I came home one day and asked him and I started minor hockey on the eastern shore in Cole Harbour.”
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Gregson, who has replaced Stephen Walkom as the NHL director of officiating, says the priorities this season will be calling the instigator penalty on fights more often and standardizing the way officials drop the puck for faceoffs.
Officials were told that the instigator has been overlooked too often.
”It’s not new,” Gregson said in a recent interview. ”We’re not changing the wording and we’re not trying to make every fight an instigator call.
”But if a player travels (to start a fight), you have to ask ’did someone clearly instigate?’ And if so, apply the rule.”
from David Staples of The Cult Of Hockey,
On the NHL Network’s online broadcast of the Oilers-Flames game on Wednesday night, (Rod) Phillips started to roast referee Chris Lee about halfway through the first period and didn’t let up. Lee did give the Flames two two-man advantages in the first, but there might well be some concern that Phillips’ response wasn’t exactly in proportion, not that the nutbar Oiler diehards like me who actually watch the game online would care about his bias.
Indeed, we love Phillips for it.
“It doesn’t matter how long you see the game, when you see bad officiating, it just ruins it,” Phillips said of Lee. “This guy has just started off the game absolutely horrendously.”
Free speech, alive and well on the radio.
“He’s obviously an American Hockey League referee and you should be surprised to see him in the NHL this season because he’s not ready,” Phillips then said of Lee.
from Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star,
Former NHL referee Dean Warren is taking the league to the Ontario Labour Relations Board claiming he was wrongfully fired for his union advocacy on behalf of his black-and-white striped colleagues.
Warren, a Toronto native who learned the ropes officiating in the Greater Toronto Hockey League, will appear at a labour relations board hearing tomorrow.
He is alleging the league fired him in April 2008 for his “union activity” with the National Hockey League Officials Association.
The NHL argues in written submissions that Warren was fired for “substandard performance.”
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
Terry Gregson, who spent 25 years as an NHL referee, was named the League’s Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating Tuesday. In his new position, Gregson, who officiated 1,427 regular-season and 158 Stanley Cup Playoff games, will assume overall management of the officiating staff.
“I’ve watched and been a part of the direction the game has taken in the last four years and have been excited to be a part of it,” Gregson told NHL.com. “We’re going to stay the course. It is a great opportunity to continue on and keep things going in the right direction.”
Mike Brophy does a Q & A with Stephen Walkom who has left his job as the NHL’s director of officiating and will be returning as a referee this season.
Sportsnet.ca: Some critics suggested the standard for calls took a little dip in last season’s playoffs and once again referees were turning a blind eye to infractions. Do you agree?
Walkom: They talked about it a little bit, but I think everybody is always ready to pounce on it. That’s why I compared the first period prior to the lockout against the first period of this year’s playoffs. Yeah, there was probably one penalty in the first period that we should have called, but we don’t want our guys making up penalties just so we can call the standard. Was there one hook missed? Yeah, there was. Was there a hold we could have called in the second period? Perhaps. But the thing is there were 14 of those four years earlier. Our guys aren’t missing penalties by choice; not calling penalties because of the time of the game or the score of the game. That mentality is gone. If they see something, they react to it.
from the Globe and Mail,
Stephen Walkom has decided to haul his referee’s sweater out of mothballs.
Walkom, who had his 46th birthday on August 8, is stepping down as the NHL’s director of officiating with the intent of staying with the league as an on-ice official, a league source confirmed Tuesday. Walkom is expected to be at the NHL officials training camp which begins on Sept. 7. It’s believed that when Walkom accepted the executive position during the 2004-05 NHL lockout that it was on the condition that he would be allowed to return as an on-ice official if/when he made that decision.
retiring NHL referee, will be on Leafs Lunch today from noon - 1pm ET and I am sure he will be sharing some great stories. So if you have nothing else to do, listen in at am640 in Toronto.
As a regular feature, StarPhoenix sports reporter Cory Wolfe gets personal with a sports figure. Today, NHL referee Brad Meier gets cornered.
The SP: You’re participating in the Sticks on 23rd street hockey tournament with several NHL players. Any fears that they’ll try to seek retribution against a guy who normally has the power to penalize them?
Meier: I don’t think so because at the end of the day, I’ll have the last laugh when it comes to regular-season play next year. I think I’ll be all right….
The SP: (Laughs) OK, you’ve got a tough job. What’s the best heckle you’ve heard from a fan, player or coach?
Meier: Well, Pat Quinn is always good for some funny ones. One night we were in Toronto and they were taking the rough end of the battle. He kind of piped up and asked us if we all thought it was Hudson Bay rules out there because he didn’t think we’d want to call any penalties. He’s always good for a comment but he’s pretty funny, pretty witty and he’s a great guy to us off the ice.
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