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Stephen Walkom On The Slashing Calls

from Mike Sawatzky of the Winnipeg Free Press,

The NHL’s crackdown on slashing isn’t even a week old, but the league’s director of officiating believes the tougher approach is already having the desired effect.

"It’s early, but so far there’s a real buy-in," Stephen Walkom said over the phone Thursday morning. "Even the players on the competition committee were concerned about this area.

"I think (the referees are) applying the standard we want them to apply, relative to the hacking and whacking around the hands. And I’m already seeing player conformance and a lot of players haven’t even played two games yet. The players seem to be adapting and thinking out there, but old habits die hard."...

The safety issue is real. Most fans can remember a slash from Minnesota’s Eric Staal breaking Johnny Gaudreau’s finger, sidelining the Calgary Flames star for 10 games last season, or Sidney Crosby’s slash in which the Pittsburgh Penguins captain nearly severed the pinky finger of Ottawa Senators defenceman Marc Methot.

"I would think those two incidents were the tipping point," Walkom said. "It was something that had slowly crept into the game since the restart in ’05-06, when players weren’t allowed to hook anymore. They started to walk that line of tapping and reaching out to touch someone. Playing the same way but not hooking the guy and over time, not that they weren’t calling slashing penalties, but players were getting the benefit of the doubt when it was around the hands.

"It got to the point where players took advantage of that grey area in the game."

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: stephen+walkom

Comments

TreKronor's avatar

“It’s early, but so far there’s a real buy-in,”

What a piece.  Seems like no one got the message before the preseason started, Stephen.

Posted by TreKronor on 09/22/17 at 10:26 AM ET

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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.

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.

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