Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
from Rob Massey of the Guelph Mercury,
I’ve answered the league I will be back providing that the negotiations that are ongoing right now continue to go well,” McCreary says.
McCreary, who’ll turn 55 in November, had planned to retire at the end of the 2009-10 season. However, Terry Gregson, the NHL’s director of officiating who is two years older than McCreary, asked McCreary to stay on for another season.
“It’s a great feeling,” McCreary says. “We had a nice meeting together and he asked me if I’d be interested in coming back on the ice and he gave me quite a few months to give him an answer and I thought that was real good of him. It’s a real honour that the league wants me to come back and participate in another season.”
from Mike Dodd of Simcoe.com,
Mere months ago, Dan Marouelli was a veteran referee enforcing the rules in the National Hockey League, trying to keep the league’s elite players in line.
Now, the Edmonton native and Orillia resident finds himself back in the game he loves – this time in a coaching capacity.
Late last week, the Penetang Kings of the Georgian Bay Mid-Ontario Junior C Hockey League announced the 55-year-old Marouelli has accepted an invitation to join the team as an assistant coach.
from the Globe and Mail,
“It’s like every once in a while you draw the ace of spades,” the psychology professor added. “It’s going to happen.”
Questions about the capacity of the human brain to judge action on the sports field are not limited to conversations at the local bar, but are examined by neurobiologists and psychologists using such measures as “relay latency“, “perceptual fluency” and “speed-accuracy trade-off curve“.
While it is easy for fans to throw up their hands in disgust at a missed call and curse the referee, they need to realize that officials are weighing up actions which happen in fractions of a second, experts say.
LOS ANGELES (June 24, 2010)—The National Hockey League Board of Governors today approved a rule change that provides for a major penalty and a game misconduct for a “lateral or blindside hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principle point of contact.” The rule change was proposed by the League’s 30 Club General Managers and was approved by the Competition Committee before being forwarded to the Board for ratification.
Rule 48, “Illegal Check to the Head,” also empowers a referee, at his discretion, to assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the penalized player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head.
Any player who incurs a total of two game misconducts under this rule, in either the regular season or playoffs, will be suspended automatically for his team’s next game. For each subsequent game misconduct penalty, the automatic suspension will be increased by one game.
If deemed appropriate, supplementary discipline also can be applied.
From the Toronto Star’s Kevin McGran:
A hit to the head will be a penalty — a five-minute major — next season in the NHL.
The league and the NHL Players’ Association took a huge step Friday toward ridding the game of the dreaded headshots — blindside shots, gratuitous shots and intentional shots — when the 10-member competition committee agreed on a new penalty.
“Gratuitous headshots are going to be eliminated from the game,” said veteran defenceman Mathieu Schneider, one of five players on the committee. “Guys are going to be penalized if they take those shots. “Our hope is that all the headshots are going to be taken out of the game,” he added, admitting it won’t be easy. “The game happens so quickly. There is going to be contact with the head, that’s the nature of the game. It’s the intentional shots we want to take out of the game.”
NEW YORK (June 6, 2010) – NHL Network will carry the broadcast premiere of Behind the Stripes: A Ref’s Life, the National Hockey League announced today. The 30-minute original documentary, produced by the NHL’s Officiating Department and NHL Network will debut on Monday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Behind the Stripes: A Ref’s Life, documents the personal journey of two NHL referees with a behind the scenes look at their profession. It’s a story about one referee who has realized his dream and the other who is chasing his. Veteran referee Bill McCreary and rookie Ghislain Hebert share their on and off ice experiences, challenges and accomplishments during the 2009-10 season.
After a hot shower and a few minutes to decompress, NHL referee Bill McCreary paid his form of highest compliment to this Game 3 overtime victory for the hometown Flyers.
“It was a man’s game,” said McCreary, who Wednesday night broke the all-time League record for most games officiated—43 and counting—in the Stanley Cup Final. “The players deserve the credit for the way they played. It was a tremendous hockey game.”
McCreary passed Hall of Famer Bill Chadwick to top a category that is the telling indicator for a professional hockey official.
“Officials are no different than players who work hard all year to make the last round of the playoffs,” McCreary said. “What stands out to me is that I have been selected for the Stanley Cup Final by four different officiating managers. I guess that means I have been consistent enough to break the record. I am very proud of it.”
via a Darren Dreger tweet,
S.Cup officials. Referees (4): McCreary, O’Halloran, Sutherland, Walkom. Linesmen (4):Devorski. G, Miller, Morin, Racicot.
from Bob Condor of NHL.com,
A professional hockey official like Marcus Vinnerborg knows his best games occur when he effectively goes unnoticed on the ice.
There is one exception, especially if you are Vinnerborg, who has worked in Sweden’s Elitserien, the country’s top professional league, since 2000. That’s if Terry Gregson, NHL Senior Vice President and Director of Officials, and his staff are watching you work.
On Thursday, Vinnerborg, 37, was announced as the first European-trained official to join the National Hockey League officiating staff next season. Vinnerborg will be assigned to the American Hockey League but over the course of the season it is expected that he will be assigned to work NHL regular-season games.
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