Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Peter Adler of The Cult of Hockey,
“Now, guys, these two linesmen won’t call icing if the puck as much as passes within 10 feet of your reach,” says the coach, opening the pre-game tactical meeting.
“Besides,” he adds, “don’t even think of raising your stick above your knees and bringing it as close as three feet to an opposing forward you’re chasing. You would be called for hooking.”
Impossible? Absolutely not.
Many in professional hockey have noticed that the NHL has resorted to more or less permanent foursomes of zebras. Whatever their reasons, economic, logistical, any other, that’s how it is. So, you can imagine a coach telling his forwards, “Don’t worry about slowing down when you’re getting close to the other team’s goal. These two won’t whistle you for goaltender interference if their lives depended on it.”
‘Kerry, I’ve got a bonus in my contract for penalty minutes, I’m four minutes short, and the f—-ing coach never played me one shift tonight.’
“I said, ‘What did you say?’
“He said, ‘f—- off.’
“I said, ‘Say it like you mean it.’
“He said, ‘F—- OFF!!!!’ ”
“I said, ‘YOU GOT 10!!’ ”
“He said, ‘Thank you’ and he went up the hall, happy as a pig in sh—.”
-Retired NHL referee Kerry Fraser, talking about an incident with former NHL player Jim McKenzie. You can read more about the book Fraser is promoting from Jason Kay of The Hockey News.
The Final Call: Hockey Stories from a Legend in Stripes is available at Amazon (affiliate link).
from Scott Morrison of CBC,
Tradition or technology?
Which should we embrace?
It isn’t entirely the burning question in the NHL these days, but it is one of them and it is being kicked around a lot.
As most expected, with the addition of the new rule this season applying to blindside hits targeting the head there have been some growing pains, with officials either missing the hits entirely or seeing ones that didn’t exist….
It has been suggested the plays could be reviewed in Toronto, just a like a goal is reviewed, or perhaps a system could be implemented as with football or baseball, whereby an official can do the video review themselves at the rink.
Now, we are all for getting it right and enforcing the rules properly, but we have enough video review, thank you.
from Tim Wharnsby of CBC,
Imagine it’s Saturday night. Before Hockey Night In Canada switches out West for the second game of the doubleheader, Elliotte Friedman signs off from the Air Canada Centre with a post-game interview with referees Francis Charron and Stephen Walkom.
The two on-ice officials have just botched a goaltender-interference call and allowed a controversial goal to Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colton Orr. They are asked to explain their actions.
Would you, as a fan, feel better if the referees were permitted or encouraged by the NHL to explain what transpired during a contentious play? Maybe they didn’t see it. Maybe they simply messed up. But an explanation would help the fan understand.
NEW YORK/TORONTO (October 27, 2010) —The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors and the NHL Officials’ Association today completed the ratification process on a new four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. The deal will run through the 2013-14 season.
“We are pleased to have reached a new agreement with our officials,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “We look forward to working closely will our officials to ensure that the quality of our game continues to be the best that it can be.”
“NHL officials are the best in the world and will continue to bring their dedication to ensuring a quality on-ice product,” said Harry Radomski, Executive Director of the NHLOA. “These negotiations have been reflective of the relationship between the NHLOA and NHL which is characterized by a mutual desire for what is best for the game.”
from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,
While hits to the head are certainly an issue in hockey, we often go overboard and break down each and every bodycheck that drops a player to the ice, whether he gets up immediately or not. But at what point do we stop looking at slow motion replay to see if a shoulder hit another shoulder and start paying more attention to garbage plays where a player hits another in the numbers and sends him face-first into the boards, violently, awkwardly or needlessly?
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In talking to (David) Booth, it becomes clear he is a reasonable voice in what is surely going to continue as a heated debate, if all the concussions in the early going this season are any indication.
The NHL has had a bizarre run of them already. Since no two concussions are alike, it’s difficult to define the cause and introduce a one-size-fits-all rule to limit them. For example, Raitis Ivanans of the Calgary Flames took a punch in the chops from Edmonton Oilers winger Steve MacIntyre. Does the league ban fighting? It wouldn’t hurt.
Cam Janssen of the St. Louis Blues was run over by his own player, Brad Winchester. Hard to throw the book at Winchester, but maybe recklessness should be punished even under those circumstances. Atlanta Thrashers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec fainted and was concussed when his head hit the ice, a freakish event that probably isn’t going to happen again any time soon.
Booth, who has resumed playing this season, acknowledged the range of causes in an interview prior to the Panthers’ date Thursday with the Flames: No matter how stringently you may police the sport, some head injuries will inevitably occur. His concern is to get the headhunting out of the game, something he believes is easier said than done.
Adam Proteau of The Hockey News answers some emails,
Dear Adam, Is it me, or does it seem like the refs tend to call more penalties on smaller-market teams when they play against bigger-market teams?
Take the Avs for instance. Denver isn’t a huge market like Chicago or Philly. And in the game against Chicago it seemed like the penalty count favored Chicago big time (almost 2-1). And then in Philly with the Craig Anderson diving call to counter the goaltender interference? And let’s throw in the Sharks-Avs series last year in the playoffs when it seemed like every penalty was against the Avs, some of them feeling like they were made up out of thin air.
I am a referee and believe the NHL puts out the best officials in the world. I know how hard it is to see every penalty, but also how easy it is to get tunnel vision and look for penalties on certain teams. So could it be that the NHL is persuading its refs to favor bigger-market teams so the league gets the big TV contract it has been wanting ever since the lockout?...
No, I’m afraid it’s you.
And I’m a little surprised a guy who is a referee would be insinuating that the league and its officials are in cahoots to provide unfair advantages to big-market teams; if that’s true, I suppose NHL refs must have missed the memo when Tampa Bay, Carolina and Anaheim won Stanley Cups.
more q & a…
from the CP at CBC,
Armed with a new entry in the rulebook, NHL referees will be watching closely for bodychecks that make contact with the head this season.
Officials now have the ability to give out a major penalty for illegal checking to the head—an offence that comes with an automatic game misconduct. A key component of the rule is that the hit must come from an unsuspecting angle for it to be considered an infraction.
Those type of bodychecks became a major topic of discussion last season after a couple players were sidelined with concussions in vicious-looking incidents.
NEW YORK - TORONTO (October 4, 2010)—The National Hockey League and the NHL Officials’ Association today reached tentative agreement on a new four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. The tentative Agreement is subject to ratification by the membership of the NHL Officials’ Association as well as the League’s Board of Governors.
The League and the NHLOA will have no comment until the ratification process has taken place.
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.
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