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Oilers coach Renney fined $10,000 for saying “maybe they need Hollywood in the playoffs”

Apr 3, 2012, 5:16 PM EDT

The NHL announced Edmonton Oilers head coach Tom Renney has been fined $10,000 for comments made following a 2-0 loss in Los Angeles on Monday.

If you’re wondering what the comments were, here’s the audio:

“Maybe they need Hollywood in the playoffs” referred to a disparity in penalties that favored the Kings, who are in the midst of a playoff chase. Edmonton was whistled for five penalties to Los Angeles’ three, including a stretch in the second period where the Oilers received three minor penalties in the span of 12 minutes.

All told, Edmonton received just one power play opportunity.

Renney’s comments may not have been a reflection of last night but rather the culmination of weeks of frustration, as noted by the Edmonton Sun’s Roberty Tychkowski:

For the 11th time in the last 20 games, the Oilers were given one or fewer power plays. By comparison, only twice in the last 20 games have their opponents been limited to one or fewer power plays. Only once in the last 20 games have the Oilers been given more power play chances than their opponents.

This isn’t the first time the NHL has come down hard on a postgame refereeing critique. After New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella called officiating at the 2012 Winter Classic “disgusting”, the league gave him a $30,000 fine.

  1. govtminion - Apr 3, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    The amount of ‘NHL is just out to make sure some teams do well’ stuff lately has been just ridiculous. They SHOULD fine him for a comment like this.

    That said, $10K fine, while coaches threatening to kick each other’s asses produce smaller fines than that? Odd.

    • ikillchicken - Apr 3, 2012 at 9:38 PM

      To me though, there’s a reason you see so much of this talk. When you look at how absurdly inconsistent and unpredictable the officiating is, it really does lend itself to this kind of thinking. Of course, I don’t actually believe that the NHL tries to influence the outcome of games. In the end, this inconsistency is more the product of gross incompetence rather than deliberate manipulation. Still, I can definitely see where a lot of people interpret it as deliberate. If the NHL really wants to shut down these kinds of comments permanently they need to fix their officiating.

      • govtminion - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:45 AM

        Agreed, incompetence has been a huge issue. But it’s not like it’s intentional in one direction- think of it as ‘balanced incompetence’ if you want. Everyone is getting hosed by these bonehead calls- and benefiting from them at other times- roughly equal. I refuse to believe the league would risk the enormous backlash of tilting games lest they be caught. There wouldn’t be a league the following season between fans revolting, investigations, lawsuits, etc.

  2. howardforvezina - Apr 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    No ref is good in the NHL. The referees are embarassing to every NHL fan. Make a change, simplify the rules so they have no excuses.

  3. ron05342 - Apr 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Edmonton had a four-minute double minor in the third period, shortly after the Kings scored the first goal of the game.

    WTF is this idiot complaining about? It’s not “Hollywood’s” fault that Edmonton couldn’t convert on a full four-minute minor!


  4. stakex - Apr 3, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    The league doesn’t like coaches blowing the whistle on them for this crap, but its VERY clear the refs in the NHL play with the outcome of games. Now I didn’t see this game so I can’t really comment on it specifically, but I sure as hell saw that sad display at the Winter Classic in which the refs did everything they could over the last 10 mintues to force the game into overtime. It was disgusting, and Torts was right… but I guess Bettman cares a lot more about ratings then he does about the integrity of the sport.

  5. highlander24 - Apr 3, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Fully deserved fine. His team got beat cleanly in a hard fought game and he’s implying that it was fixed?! He’s a common punk just like his players. Have fun watching the Kings do what you can’t: compete in the playoffs.

  6. iamanidiotfan - Apr 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    I listened to the whole clip a few times, and each time I listened to it, the question that led to the fined comment was completely obscured by static. Is this just my computer? Did other people catch the question?

    • Mike Halford - Apr 3, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      The static was part of the recording — it’s not your computer.

      • iamanidiotfan - Apr 3, 2012 at 8:42 PM

        Thx Mike. Made me wonder why that question was indecipherable, but every other part of audio was good enough to hear everything being said. Maybe the reporter’s question was too critical of the reffing also?

  7. sasquatch16 - Apr 3, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    The league’s reffing is on most nights a complete joke, no one can deny that. I guess it is predictable in the sense that you know when a call will be made based on time of game/score rather than the actual infraction.

  8. haterzgonahate - Apr 3, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Tom Renney is a terrible coach… Coilers aren’t going anywhere with him behind the bench.

  9. nobandwagoners - Apr 3, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    I didn’t see the game so I can’t (or shouldn’t) comment on the validity of the calls or whether Renney’s comments are justified or not.

    But what bugs me generally is the school of thought that the number of penalties “should” be equal for both teams by the end of the game and the refs’ seeming determination to “equal out the calls” to achieve that. Or complaints that if one teams had a bunch more penalties for or against them, that the referring was poor. That’s absolutely ridiculous.

    Some teams simply draw more penalties, either in a game or generally, because they deserve the calls – they outwork the other team, have more scoring chances, etc., and the other team is forced to take penalties because, for example, they have to to prevent a scoring chance, they’re just plain lazy, make bone-headed decisions, and/or lack the talent to compete.

    Just because a team received the last 5 penalties shouldn’t mean that team is off-the-hook for any other infractions it commits or is “due” a power play of their own.

    Give us consistency in how penalties are called irrespective of, e.g., the time left in the game, the calls thus far, who commits the infraction or against whom, whether the ref likes the colour of the uniform or what his horoscope said that day.

    • elvispocomo - Apr 3, 2012 at 8:16 PM

      I think it’s more that over a larger sample size – say 20 games – things should regress to the mean. Law of averages has a hand, as should the ability of a young, skilled, fast team to draw penalties. Although they might be on the wrong end of the stick a little more often being a poorer team, it should be 95% of the time that the other team gets more powerplays.

    • iamanidiotfan - Apr 3, 2012 at 8:36 PM

      I didn’t see the game either, but they do (in the Edmonton Sun article linked) mention a number of instances from the game:

      1) Horcoff had his stick slashed in half in front of the LA net
      2) Dubnyk tripped behind the net
      3) Teubert had a poke-check that was all puck given a penalty.

      I am sure, if we linked to an LA hockey columnist, we would hear about a number of instances from the game where LA didn’t receive a call (that should have been automatic) or where LA felt that one of the calls was unfair.

      But the inconsistency of the reffing in some of these games is starting to remind me of those hockey video games, where you can turn up or turn down the frequency of calls, or the type of calls being made. If you’re Canadian, and you watch the early game on HNIC and then watch the late game, at times it’s like they’re using different rulebooks.

  10. blomfeld - Apr 3, 2012 at 10:41 PM


    Only last night I denounced this freak as a “weirdo” right after our glorious victory over his stupid team … and today “lo and behold” we get this ? … “at this time, we have no further questions your honor” … the bottom line is that Renney is a failure and he’s a disgrace to the fair city of Edmonton … therefore the sooner he’s “dealt with” the better …

    at any rate, it’s good to see some fellow LA Kings supporters weighing in here ! :) hey man, as you guys know this week is huge, as now we “completely” control our own destiny … so it’s important that we close out 2011-12 in style, by seriously putting the boots to those underachieving Goldfish of San Jose ! … then we can re-load and set our sights upon the real target, which are the Sisters followed by the Stanley Cup !

  11. jkaflagg - Apr 3, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Last gasp from a doomed coach…’s a fine line between sticking up for your players or making excuses….and the Oilers core of young players need to learn that teams that finish 30th- 30th-29th don’t get any breaks from the refs, that they need to earn them, the way the Kings did over the past few years. Hopefully the next coach will stay will have a ” no whining” policy….

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