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Category: NHL-Officiating

Your New On-Ice Officials

from Scouting The Refs,

The 2021-22 offseason has been a busy one for the NHL Officiating office.  A number of retirements over the past few seasons – along with no new hires for 2020-21 – have left quite a few striped jerseys to fill for the National Hockey League. The NHL’s latest moves have done just that.

Three referees have been promoted from AHL/NHL officials to full-time in the NHL: Furman South, Corey Syvret, and Michael Markovic.   Their part-time positions, working games at the AHL and NHL levels, have been filled by the hires of Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Justin Kea, Cody Beach, and Carter Sandlak.

On the bluelines, all five AHL/NHL linesmen from 2020-21 have been promoted to full-time: Kyle Flemington, Julien Fournier, Jesse Marquis, Tyson Baker, and Travis Toomey.   They’re joined by two new hires making the jump right to the NHL: Jonathan Deschamps and Ben O’Quinn.


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Morning Line- Gene Collier

The list of wrong or non-calls this postseason runs longer than most attention spans, but its impact might begin to metastasize for two reasons that really unnerve the league’s pilots. One is that the league seems enthusiastic about negating the talents of its truly gifted players in the postseason. The Hockey News reported that, after the four-game Edmonton-Winnipeg series, Rachel Doerrie, a former NHL consultant completing a master’s in data and analytics, isolated no fewer than 37 violations against Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, the league’s most ascendant star. None of them were called. McDavid did not draw a penalty in this postseason or last. With that degree of enforcement just as the league is starting a new seven-year deal with ESPN, the boardrooms of the NHL have to know their untapped hockey markets will only descend further into the well-established confusion that keeps the league standing in its own way.

Why are penalties in the second period not penalties late in the third? Why are penalties in the regular season not penalties in the postseason? These are ageless, interminably confusing hockey questions among people who are either casual fans or are non-fans, a.k.a the future of the league. Well, let me speak directly to those people: YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO UNDERSTAND THIS!

-Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette where you can read more on this topic.

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Ref’s Make Mistakes Too

from Matt Porter of the Boston Globe,

It’s advisable to steer clear of the yearly playoff officiating discourse whenever possible. The calls typically even out. The NHL’s officiating this postseason has been so inconsistent, so haphazard, that it is an unavoidable topic.

In this third round alone, we had a goal scored with seven Lightning skaters on the ice. We had Islander Scott Mayfield’s pair of cross-checks on Steven Stamkos, which sent him face-first into the dasher, and Nikita Kucherov, which knocked the leading playoff scorer out for Game 6. In Game 3 of the Montreal-Vegas series, referee Chris Lee missed a high stick that left Corey Perry bloody. He was standing a few feet away as Brayden McNabb punched Nick Suzuki in the face.

You may be thinking of several more incidents left unmentioned. Maybe something from the Bruins’ playoff run?

Rage against the referees has been a part of hockey since the puck was a chunk of wood and the sticks were fashioned from saplings. There used to be a few cameras in the building, and now there’s a few hundred, and we can clearly see what the officials a few feet away miss, as the players skate by in a blur. Maybe we should accept that they’re going to miss some bad ones.

continued plus more topics...

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“Wake Up”

from TSN,

The quality of officiating in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs has drawn plenty of criticism on various platforms from fans, the media, and now player agents.

Jeff Jackson, who represents Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid and whose Wasserman Hockey group represents Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews and others, amplified an argument made by TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button on Wednesday night about the work done by officials, specifically referee Chris Lee who spotted – and did not call – a cross-checking infraction by Islanders defenceman Scott Mayfield on Tampa Bay winger Nikita Kucherov.

"Craig hits the nail on the head here," Jackson tweeted on Thursday morning. "You can't sing & whistle at the same time. NHL has a problem & they pretend it doesn't exist. How many games is Chris Lee going to ref where he pretends to not see a blatant penalty? Why is he still doing games? Another star out!! Wake up!"


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Afternoon Line- Mark Spector

Folks, we have lost the plot on National Hockey League refereeing.

When the best referees in the league perform like they have this spring, there is a problem.

When Connor McDavid can play eight playoff games over two seasons, yet not draw a single penalty — despite ranking sixth in the regular season over that span in penalties drawn — there is a problem.

When only three of the Top 25 salaried players in the league are still playing in the semifinals — and two of those are goalies — we have a problem.

We asked players on Monday what they thought about the standard, and always, they didn’t want to say much. Some fear reprisal by the officials, some just don’t like the look of focusing on things that are out of their control.

-Mark Spector of Sportsnet where you can read more on the officiating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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On-Ice Officials For The Stanley Cup Semi-Finals

via Scouting The Refs,

As the playoffs advance to the NHL’s Stanley Cup Semifinals — aka Conference Finals, in a normal year — here are the officials moving on.  While the NHL has had a separate pool of officials in Canada, the groups have merged for this round.

Francis Charron, Gord Dwyer, Eric Furlatt, Chris Lee, Wes McCauley, Dan O’Rourke, Francois St. Laurent, Kelly Sutherland

Out from Round 2:  Jean Hebert,  Brad Meier, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock

David Brisebois, Scott Cherrey, Michel Cormier, Ryan Gibbons, Kiel Murchison, Jonny Murray, Bryan Pancich, Andrew Smith

Out from Round 2: Devin Berg, Steve Barton, Matt MacPherson, Mark Shewchyk 

Standby Officials: Referee Brian Pochmara, Linesman Devin Berg

First-Timers: Linesmen Andrew Smith and Ryan Gibbons are making their first trips to the Conference Finals.

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Afternoon Line- Paul Stewart And Kerry Fraser

“I promise you, with the people I’ve worked with over the course of my career, I don’t think you’re going to tell Andy Van Hellemond, Don Koharski or Kerry Fraser how to referee a hockey game,” said Hall of Fame referee Paul Stewart, a fourth-generation official. “They just look at you like pffft.

“I didn’t give a shit. I did the job based on what my feelings were. In many senses, I felt the players played for me. If you’re going to officiate and be at the top level of your game, you can’t allow this type of outside influence to taint your thinking. You have to gauge it by how you are and who you are.”

-Paul Stewart, former NHL referee

“At a stoppage of play, I would go to the benches to both coaches and say, ‘Obviously you’ve taken way too much advantage of my generosity and I’m embarrassed, but I’m now going to lay the hammer down. I prefer you to control your guys before I have to. But I’m going to grab one player in the scrum — it might be your guy or their guy. Control your guys or I will.”

“If I said something, you can take it to the bank, I was going to do it. The guys that are really successful are when they step on the ice and players know they mean business. When they tell them something, they follow through. It’s not an idle threat.”

-Kerry Fraser, former NHL referee

Joe Smith of The Athletic has much more ($$$)

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The Referee Problem

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

- Let me know when the NHL fires vice president and director of officiating Stephen Walkom instead of referee Tim Peel, and I’ll believe the league is onto something.

Peel, of course, was fired posthaste after a hot-mic clip caught the referee saying he “wanted to get” an “early” penalty against the Predators after he made a marginal tripping call 4:46 into the second period of their game against the Red Wings on Tuesday.

There’d been only one prior penalty assessed against Detroit, so the desire to even things up at that juncture seems odd, but then again, that’s Peel, who had long before announced his intention to retire at the end of the season.

The NHL, which acted shocked, shocked we’ll say, that such a thing would exist in its universe, though the league, both before and throughout Walkom’s tenure at the top of the officiating food chain, has countenanced its officials managing games for decades....

- No organization in pro sports would benefit from John Tortorella’s boot-camp mentality as much as the Sabres. And Tortorella, of course, does not have a contract that goes beyond this season in Columbus.

But though half the Sabres — and that probably includes management — might not survive Tortorella, the larger question is: At this stage of his life, would Tortorella survive the Sabres?

more on the first topic plus other notes...

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Let The Refs Be Heard

from Patrick Johnston of the Vancouver Province,

However, the real story here shouldn’t be what Peel did, but about the culture around hockey’s referees, how they’re shown respect on the ice and also away from the rink by the people in charge.

Officiating any sport is hard. A game as fast as hockey is very hard.

Mistakes happen, calls get missed — that’s inevitable.

It’s worth noting how rugby union has had mics on its referees for years and doesn’t run into the same problems that the NHL seems to.

“Oh but those mics would pick up a whole lot more,” some have retorted. Yes, that’s the point.

Rugby players are just as capable at cursing as hockey players are.

If you turned the mic on all the time, surely that would have an impact on the culture underneath it all.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Elliotte Friedman On The Dismissal Of Tim Peel

via Sportsnet,

Elliotte Friedman has a different perspective on why the NHL came down hard on referee Tim Peel.


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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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