Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Steigerwald of the Indiana Gazette,
Maybe Sidney Crosby should just quit.
It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. He shared a home with the former Best Player in the World, who quit when he was 31 years old.
Yep. That’s what Mario Lemieux did after the 1996-97 season, and when he did it, everybody understood. They knew he was fed up with the stupidity of the NHL. If you were around back then, you remember that Lemieux made it known that he was going to retire after that season, so it wasn’t a shock when the guy who led the league in scoring with 50 goals and 72 assists decided to pack it in.
Think about that for a second. This wasn’t a broken-down player who was struggling to play up to the ridiculous standard that he had set for himself. This was a 50-goal scorer saying he’d had enough with the NHL’s refusal to enforce the rules and was walking away. Not to become a team executive or owner. That would come later. He was headed for the golf course and as far away as he could get from the game he loved.
That just doesn’t happen in sports.
The most talented player ever to pick up a hockey stick just couldn’t deal with the stupidity anymore.
Well, guess what? The stupidity is back. Big-time.
from Mike Brophy of CBC,
I spoke with a former NHL ref, who asked that his name not be included in this story, and he talked about life as a big-league official at this time of the season, when every call and non-call seems so critical to the outcome of a game and, hence, a series.
The ref wanted to assure all hockey fans there is no conspiracy to determine the outcome of games.
"The biggest misconception is that the officials would have some vested interest in the outcome," he said. "One thing we always say is the guys in stripes are the only ones on the ice that don't care who wins.
"There is extra coverage with all the networks covering the games, which is great for hockey. But it does add extra focus on the officiating, for sure."
The fact of the matter is refs and linesmen, like the players, are trying to be as good as they can be so they continue working. Only the best among them advance through three rounds to the Stanley Cup final.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
There should be no reason (in the two-ref system) where physical fatigue might negatively impact the decision making process for an official regardless how many overtime periods are played. The mental aspect of a referee's performance is a whole different kettle of fish! While players don't want to become the "goat" by making a bad play or mistake, the referees' internal struggle is all about rendering a decision that might be perceived as a game ending bad call. (You notice I said perceived.) The best remedy in dealing with this pressure is for the official to maintain a rock solid focus of concentration by remaining in the moment and react to call penalties whenever they occur. Once a ref stops refereeing and puts his whistle away he becomes a spectator instead of an enforcer of the playing rules.
Each referee can feel intense pressure to make sure any call he makes is viewed as a "must call" in the late stages and overtime. The referees' best work is done well in advance of the late stages of a game by maintaining the expected standard of enforcement and to keep the players in check throughout the entire game. The best deterrent against infractions being committed is "fear" a ref can instill in players that he will call the penalty whenever it is committed.
Sorry for the late posting today, but the last three days I have had a pinched nerve which goes from my shoulder blade to the tip of my fingers.
I can deal with it but finding a comfortable way to sleep has been hard but found one about four hours ago and took advantage of it to get some sleep.
That was last night after the waived off Tampa goal.
Watch it below if you missed it...
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
The margin for victory between all the teams is very slim and mistakes made by players and officials are magnified at this time of year. Simply put, mistakes can be the difference between a team and an official from going on in the playoffs or going home!
Last night I joined James Duthie for a brief segment in the playoff preview show shot in Studio 9 at TSN where I will be monitoring games and officials' calls on a nightly basis throughout the first round. James asked me what I will be looking for from the Officials the moment the playoffs begin. My response was for strict adherence to the letter of the law. The rules do not change during the playoffs and neither should the expected standard of enforcement! The referees have often been accused of putting their whistles away during the playoffs. Far too many times we have seen the score and time of a game factored into the refs' judgment as to what constitutes an obvious penalty.
via NHL Officials,
Francis Charron, Paul Devorski, Gord Dwyer, Eric Furlatt, Dave Jackson, Mark Joannette, Steve Kozari, Chris Lee, Wes McCauley, Brad Meier, Dean Morton, Dan O'Halloran, Dan O'Rourke, Chris Rooney, Tim Peel, Kevin Pollock, Francois St.-Laurent, Justin St.Pierre, Kelly Sutherland, Brad Watson
Derek Amel, Steve Barton, David Brisebois, Lonnie Cameron, Scott Cherry, Michel Cormier, Greg Devorski, Scott Driscoll, Darren Gibbs, Shane Heyer, Brad Kovachik, Matt MacPherson, Steve Miller, Brian Murphy, Jonny Murray, Derek Nansen, Brian Pancich, Pierre Racicot, Jay Sharrers, Mark Shewchyk
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
What is the NHL policy on media and officials? Can they be on Twitter? Can they be interviewed by TSN? Can they publish a book? We rarely, if ever, see an active official make a comment off the ice. Is this because they don't have much to say, or because of restrictions? I could see referee interviews causing uproars among fans.
The policy the NHL has in place for their officials speaking to the media is clear and direct: NO COMMENT!
All media access to the officials (interviews) must be cleared and granted through the office of Gary Meagher, Sr. Vice President Public Relations & Media Services. Gary is assisted by Julie Young, Manager of Public Relations. Once the content and nature of an interview is cleared, Julie is typically responsible for contacting the official and facilitating the interview. Both individuals are extremely professional and very good at their job. It was a treat to work with Julie Young because through her efforts things always went smoothly during the many times that I was requested for interviews.
Social media is off-limits for all the officials! They are not allowed to have a Facebook or Twitter account as information could easily be misconstrued or deemed to be inappropriate. It is just another undesirable location that the officials could become accessible. After NBA referee Tim Donaghy was convicted on criminal charges and served time in federal prison for betting on games he officiated, NHL officials are "strongly discouraged" from entering casinos while travelling on NHL business. You can forget about reading a book written by any NHL officials until after they retire; unless perhaps it is a children's coloring book!
Longtime NHL referee Don Van Massenhoven will officiate his final game Friday when the Buffalo Sabres visit the Detroit Red Wings.
The game will draw to a close a career that includes 1,278 regular-season games; 87 Stanley Cup Playoff games, including six Stanley Cup Finals; the 2006 Torino Olympics; the 2008 NHL Winter Classic in Buffalo; the 2004 World Cup of Hockey; and the 2002 NHL All-Star Game.
Given the choice where to officiate his final game after more than 20 years in the NHL, Van Massenhoven didn't have to think long before selecting Joe Louis Arena.
"Detroit is close to my home, which makes it easier for family and friends," Van Massenhoven said. "A lot of the teams have great buildings, but it's cool to go to the Joe."
Below, watch Van Massenhoven talk with NHL Live from "The Joe Louie"...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- Yes, everyone wants to get the correct calls on the ice. But instead of expanding video review that would undoubtedly add 10-15 minutes of standing around during games waiting for officials to get it right (or, as is obvious with the current kicked-in rule, get it right a little bit more of the time) the NHL’s priority should be improving the standard of officiating around the league so the referees actually get it right the first time.
- This idea hatched at the GM’s meeting of essentially giving teams free faceoff victories by moving a violator at the dots back 12-18 inches rather than removing him from the draw is about as absurd as it gets, given the often arbitrary nature of the way certain linesmen drop the puck.
- Henrik Lundqvist was very good in the playoffs two years ago in taking the Rangers to the conference finals, and he has been the backbone of the team from the moment his salary started to be paid in U.S. dollars rather than Swedish krona. But until he has a tournament equal to the ones fashioned by Mike Richter in 1994 and 1997, the King doesn’t get to wear the franchise’s goaltending crown.
more including Ryan Haggerty,recently signed by the Rangers, receiving a guaranteed roster spot this season...
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
In hockey they have the Video Review Room in Toronto, and they are hesitant to include a referee and off-ice monitor into the process. In baseball, basketball and football, the referees (or umpires) leave the playing surface and make the call themselves with the help of video. Each of those leagues is, in turn, studying the value of setting up a control centre like the one the NHL uses.
Speaking with the GMs here in Florida, the concern is having so many reviews that games take too long to play. Speaking with Devorski, who has ref’ed more games than any active player has played, he’ll tell you that there are instances in a lightning fast game where referees are forced to make calls they aren’t entirely confident about.
“Goaltender interference,” he said. “Getting it wrong, then looking back and it’s not goaltender interference. That would be the primary one. Maybe you do it for major penalties. Did a guy go in headfirst? Did he jump into the boards? What you don’t want is to give out a major, have them score three goals, and find out later that it was probably just a minor penalty call.”
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