from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
The answer, of course, is that there is no way to guarantee officials are perfect, and there’s not going to be a way, either now or down the road, to make them perfect. There will always be a degree of subjectivity in the interpretation of the rules, and that is not going to change.
This isn’t to say we can’t do better on the officiating front. This writer has advocated numerous times for the addition of a third referee in the NHL, one who would occupy an “eye-in-the-sky” position off the ice and could buzz in with a stoppage of play when they see some infraction the on-ice officials have missed.
Using a third referee would be a notable change, but people said there would be terrible difficulties when the NHL went from a single referee for games to two referees for games, beginning in the 1998-99 season. For the six decades years prior to that, only one referee was the norm and was what everyone was accustomed to. But fans, players, coaches and officials all adjusted, and we’d argue the game is better officiated now because of that change.
The same could and would happen with three referees. But even then, mistakes would be made, calls would be missed, and people in all cities would begrudge officials for “bias” against them. To the contrary – fans have to recognize the increased speed of the game makes it impossible for hockey referees to get everything right. And if there was a legitimate case to be made for referees having a bias against a player or team, the league would move very quickly to address the problem. But most officials are admirably professional in all their tasks.
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