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Matt Duchene doesn’t think much of Swedish league refereeing

Nov 5, 2012, 11:27 AM EST

Matt Duchene Getty Images

Even though he’s off to a good start with Swedish Elite League club Frolunda, Matt Duchene isn’t all that thrilled with the league’s officiating.

Over the weekend, the Toronto Sun provided translation of an interview Duchene did with Swedish newspaper Expressen in which he criticized the level of SEL refereeing:

“It is sad that the (referees) did not call hooking, slashing and so on,” Duchene said in a translated story from the newspaper Expressen.

“The level here is quite different than I’m used to. That’s just the way it works here.”

Duchene, who only has 57 NHL penalty minutes, wondered about the old adage ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’, but also worried that changing his style would backfire whenever the NHL resumes.

Here’s more from Matias Strozyk of Jakoaika and Elite Prospects:

Excessive stickwork and obstruction have long been complaints of the Swedish/Finnish leagues, so to hear a newcomer complain about them isn’t out of the ordinary.

That said, it’s interesting to read about NHLers and their less-than-ideal European adventures. Montreal forward Max Pacioretty bolted Swiss club Ambri-Piotta after just five games while a number of guys — Tomas Kopecky, Kris Russell, Jakub Voracek, Thomas Alex Steen, Tuukka Rask — have suffered injuries playing abroad.

UPDATE: Here’s a Twitter conversation between Voracek and Tom Sestito about the lack of quality refereeing in the Czech Extraliga (Voracek) and UK League (Sestito).

H/T to Flyers Nation.

  1. pfpmb - Nov 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    It’s Alex Steen, not his father Thomas Steen

    • Mike Halford - Nov 5, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      Having watched too many Smythe Division battles between the Canucks and Jets, I can’t be blamed for this. I still occasionally refer to Jamie McBain as Andrew McBain.

  2. bennywuh - Nov 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    “Two minutes for slashing, two minutes for hooking. And let’s not forget my personal favorite, two minutes for high-sticking!”

  3. tmoore4075 - Nov 5, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Welcome to the pre-lockout (well last lockout) rules here Matt. I mean obviously I wasn’t watching this so don’t know how bad it was but there was a lot that was let go before the 04-05 season was lost.

  4. nyrnashty - Nov 5, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Sounds like good old fashioned hockey to me and I like it. Not all leagues around the world are going to call NBA style penalties to increase power play chances to draw fans. I remember seeing Messier back checking someone in the 90’s and putting his stick around the other players neck area and no call lol. I loved NHL pre lockout 05 hockey and seems like the rest of the world still plays like that. The only penalty I really ever hated that’s actually called now in the NHL is cross checking from behind into boards. Not everything is about ratings outside of North America!

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