Thursday, April 20, 2006

Gary's Dilemma

Just prior to the start of the 2006 playoffs, the NHL head honchos had a lot to say, and one of the key issues addressed was how the league was going to officiate the games.

First, Gary Bettman:

The fact is, and I guess it's the beauty of the standards that Stephen has implemented for the officials and for the game, is that this is the standard: You call it when you see it. You call it in the first period, you call it in the last period, you call it in overtime. You see the standard being violated, you call the penalty.
Then, league Senior VP Colin Campbell:

We don't want them (the referees) to be the difference - that is what everyone used to say. The referee can't determine the outcome of the game. The players determine the outcome of the game, and your officials have to call those when they see it. And as Gary said, we're not after a quota to prove it. All we're after is to get the right call. We don't want the phantom calls, we want the right calls. If the player decides with two minutes left when an opposition players makes that break and drives to the net and it's a tie game or one-goal difference and he decides he has to hook him, hold him or commit another foul, the referee has to call it.
Finally, head referee Stephon Walkom:

"If they see a foul in the game, I fully expect they'll react to it."
Call me skeptical, but I have to see it to believe it. The fact is - at least recently - is that NHL referees have always swallowed the whistle during the playoffs. Intensity of the games, of course, is much higher in the playoffs. Perhaps more importantly, so is the league's profile. Frankly, I'm not so sure the league and its referees, when their games are most intense and most watched, are willing to spoil their marquee games by calling many of the same tugs and hooks like they did for most of the regular season. Or are they?

Colin Campbell again:

And there will be lots of screaming and shouting and they will accuse the officials of determining the outcome of a big game and costing some franchise millions of dollars. But to make this work, those are the things we're going to have to endure, and we'll hear lots of it during the playoffs, but that's part of the big growing pain.
I'll let Tom Benjamin respond to that:

Fine. Here's a message to Gary Bettman. I don't really have an emotional interest in the games but I'm still interested enough to sit down and watch. I'm not, however, interested in watching the Red Wings and Oilers trade power plays and I won't watch officials suck the intensity out of playoff hockey.

As soon as a parade to the penalty box starts in any game I'm finding something else to do.
Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place. Either there will be too many penalties or a lot of mugging. In playoff hockey, I'm not sure yet if there is a happy medium.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,
posted by J.J. Guerrero, 7:14 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home