by Lisa Brown on 04/03/12 at 10:15 PM ET
Tom Renney is not the first Oilers’ head coach to be fined for questioning the actions and calls of the officials, but he is the most recent. Following Monday night’s game in Los Angeles and yet another evening of calls that seemed to favour the other team Renney skirted around the questions on officiating as best he could, but did say “Maybe they need Hollywood (Kings) in the playoffs, I’m not sure” For that, he has been fined $10,000. When former head coach Craig MacTavish was fined $10,000 it was for saying Mick Mcgeough’s phantom hand pass call that negated a game tying goal against the Dallas Stars was “retarded.” What is really interesting is that any given player could receive a $2,500 fine for an elbow to the head of another player. The coaches need to get a better union.
When MacTavish was fined, the fans came together and raised the money, outraged at the leagues decision. Of course the Oilers graciously accepted the money but instead turned and donated the money to charity. While it was MacTavish that was fined, it’s reasonable to assume that the Oilers in some way shape or form paid the bill, or otherwise compensated MacT. It’s also reasonable to assume that the same will happen in this situation.
In this instance, we have a frustrated coach with two games left in yet another disappointing season who felt that his team could have seen different results. While no one will write articles or posts on how great officiating is, it’s just one of those jobs where if you aren’t hearing anything, you’re doing it well.
Renney is not the first coach to be fined for criticizing NHL officiating this year and ultimately, Renney may have gotten off easy. On January 4th, New York Ranger’s coach John Tortorella was fined $30,000 for his comments made after the Winter Classic saying :
Well I’m not sure if NBC got together with the refs, or what, to turn this into an overtime game. It started with the non-call on Gabby [Marian Gaborik], Gabby’s walking in and he gets pitchforked in the stomach and then everything starts going against us.
They are two good referees and I thought the game was reffed horribly. So I’m not sure what happened there, maybe they wanted to get it to an overtime. I’m not sure if they have meetings about that or what. But we stood in there. Again, they are good guys, but I just thought tonight in that third period it was disgusting.
If you look at the critical words in Tortorella’s statement, he did get a “bargain fine” paying far less per word or sentence than Renney, but that’s still a significant fine. Looking at the two fines individually just shows two coaches that lost their cool in a media scrum, but combined it tells the story of the officiating this season. It hasn’t been great, but at least it’s been league wide and I can’t say that there has been an Eastern bias.
This week also saw fines following the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers game Sunday. Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato was fined $2,500 and Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette was fined $10,000. However, their actions could be seen to embarrass the league more than a critical remark on officiating, at least in my opinion. But, the league will make the calls that it decides are most fitting and maybe one day we will understand, or at least be less frustrated.
At the same time, Anaheim Ducks’ forward Bobby Ryan was not fined, suspended and did not even serve a penalty for what appeared to be a head shot on Oilers’ defenceman Corey Potter. Sometimes a little more explanation from the league would be nice.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
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