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Category: NHL-Officiating

Checks From Behind

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?

more

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Get Headhunting Out Of The Game

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.

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  Tags: david+booth

Easy Answer - No

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…

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Watching For The Headshots

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.

continued

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Tentative Agreement Reached With NHLOA

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.

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The Officiating Is Questioned

via Versus,

Jeremy Roenick, Dave Maloney, and Billy Jaffe discuss what changes they would make in the NHL if they were commissioner for a day.

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Eliminate A Linesman?

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

Will the day ever come when the NHL drops one of its on-ice officials?

It is being considered.

While the league and its officials continue in collective bargaining agreement talks in an effort to secure a new contract between the two groups before the 2010-11 season begins, there are some who believe the day is approaching when the league will go with two referees and just one linesman per game.

There has been no indication the league would use the elimination of one linesman as a bargaining tactic.

NHL hockey was traditionally officiated by one referee and two linesmen until the 2000-01 season when a second referee was added to the mix.

“Ten years ago if you talked about doing this it would be universally turned down,” one source told sportsnet.ca. “But now, since the league took the centre red line out (in 2005-06) linesmen are doing less than they ever have….

more plus other NHL topics…

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Rule Changes Explained

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Talking CBA For NHL Officials Association

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

The discussions between the NHL and the Officials’ Union have proved to be much more complex than originally anticipated. Some of the talk surrounding a new CBA for linesmen and referees has been focused on the amount of money paid to linesmen versus referees. At one point, a member of the Officials Union wanted the NHL to decide the how the salaries would be divided. The league wanted nothing to do with that. There appears to be a real division on the union side, between the refs and the linesmen. The men with the orange stripes want a bigger piece of the pie. It’s interesting to note that this is the first CBA being negotiated where there are more referees than there are linesmen, because of the two-man ref system that was adopted in the last decade and it could reflect in a change in the overall attitude of the union.

continue for more hockey notes…

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What Happens If The NHL & NHL Officials Assoc. Can’t Agree On A Contract?

from Ken Campbell and Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,

Labor peace between the NHL and its players has dominated the news of late, but the league has a far more immediate concern with its on-ice officials.

THN.com has learned that with less than two weeks to go before the NHL starts holding pre-season games, the league and the NHL Officials’ Association are still without a collective bargaining agreement for this season. The previous agreement expired Aug. 31 and while talks between the two sides are ongoing, THN.com has learned the league has approached non-NHL officials in both the American League and the ECHL to determine whether or not they would be interested in acting as replacement officials should an agreement not be reached.

One minor league official contacted by THN.com said he has received two calls in the past two days from other minor league officials asking if he would be part of a group that would work games.

“I think it is wrong to be a scab,” he told THN.com. “I would never be a replacement (official), but there are a lot of my colleagues that are surprisingly jumping at the chance.”

continued

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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