Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/27/14 at 12:15 PM ET
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
The camera often catches intense debates between players or coaches and the officials but misses the lighter, humorous side that helps to bring the temperature down and build healthy professional working relationships. I learned early in my career that the use of humor, when appropriate (especially self-deprecating), had its place on the ice.
Early in my very first season as a referee, I had a game where the home team was getting soundly trounced and their frustration was continuously being directed at me. I responded with multiple misconduct penalties and, toward the end of the game, players were sitting three deep in the penalty box. Following another goal that took the score in double digits, the coach sent his captain over to have a word with me. Very politely the captain asked, "Mr. Referee, my coach wants to know if he can get a penalty for thinking?" I said, "Probably not if he doesn't think out loud." The captain then said, "In that case, my coach thinks you are a F-ing A-hole!" I not only found the coaches comment to be creative but very funny and I began to laugh. The stern look on the face of the coach changed to a grin and then he began to laugh as well. The humor we shared in that moment, albeit at my expense, broke the ice and taught me a valuable lesson that would serve me throughout my career.
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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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