Skip to content

The one ref Vancouver probably didn’t want reffing tonight’s game is reffing tonight’s game

Feb 1, 2013, 5:09 PM EDT

The officiating crew for tonight’s Canucks-Blackhawks game is in, and it’s an eyebrow raiser.

The linesmen will be Shane Heyer and Thor Nelson, while the referees are Eric Furlatt and…

Dan O’Halloran.

O’Halloran — No. 13 in your lucky number programs — is a pretty curious assignment, given his lengthy history with the Canucks.

First and foremost, O’Halloran was one of the two officials working the last time Vancouver and Chicago met, when Duncan Keith was whistled for a two-minute elbowing minor on Daniel Sedin:

That incident set off a hailstorm of controversy.

Sedin missed the remaining nine games of the regular season and first three games of the playoffs with a concussion, while Keith was tagged with a five-game suspension from NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan.

Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault was incensed the call on the ice didn’t reflect the severity of the hit or subsequent punishment from the league.

“We got a big two-minute power play off that hit from the same referee — remember last year when Daniel got punched six times in the face in the Boston series?” Vigneault said. “I seem to remember it was the same guy.”

That guy was none other than O’Halloran, one of two referees working Game 6 of the 2011 Stanley Cup final, during which Boston’s Brad Marchand repeatedly punched Sedin in the face.

Sedin received a 10-minute misconduct, as did Marchand — though Marchand got an extra two for roughing.

(And to be fair, it was Kelly Sutherland who was directly involved with trying to stop the altercation.)

Earlier in that same postseason, O’Halloran was working Game 2 of the Western Conference final between Vancouver and San Jose, in which Ben Eager hammered Sedin with this hit:

Eager was given a two-minute boarding minor on the play, a decision the Canucks were displeased with.

The two-minute penalty also came under scrutiny when, shortly after the playoffs ended, the NHL sent out a player safety video (FF to 8:01) in which the Eager-Sedin hit was used to illustrate illegal action under the new boarding rules.


Blackhawks and Canucks: ‘bitterness’ lingers about Keith elbow on Sedin

  1. bigoldorcafromvan - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Memo from AV to the Canucks Defense. Shoot high and as hard as you can when you see #2 in the shooting lane. But then again Dandy Hally will blow Van for that also.

    • esracerx46 - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      Marleau did that clearing a puck on the pk. He missed 5 min of ice time and was down 7 teeth but it didnt seem to stop him. Dont you think after every fanbase in the league has despised you, one has to come to the conclusion….maybe we are punks, and its not because were “good”. You got a team full of Marchand’s! No wonder everyone hates you!

      • davebabychreturns - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:44 PM

        Yeah. I don’t think it’s that everyone hates the Canucks, it’s that a sizeable minority just can’t help themselves whenever they come up.

        (In fairness, a lot of Canucks fans can’t help themselves when it comes to the Blackhawks or Bruins or whoever else.)

        And I agree, it’s dirty pool shooting high on a player – and the result can be anywhere from completely pointless to extremely dangerous. You should be shooting at the net because the point of hockey is to win the game.

        As for Keith like I said earlier I just hope he’s hearing footsteps all night. I think he had some pretty rude things to say to Zack Kassian last game, I wonder if those two will be doing any conversing tonight.. my guess is that Duncan Keith is going to be heading straight for the bench the instant the play is whistled down.

  2. nunan - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    I thought that Marchand incident was great, personally. Two opposing strategies coming head to head in that situation. One strategy, establish dominance. The other, get pushed around, hoping for the calls to go your way.

    • davebabychreturns - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      I wouldn’t put it that way exactly but I did think it was an interesting contrast of strategies.

      I think the Canucks were built to take advantage of the rules of the game (and players like Burrows, Kesler and Lapierre frequently tried to take even more advantage) and there just was no appreciation from the organization for the fact that the league simply will not call games by the book once playoff time rolls around.. and the further into the playoffs the less integrity the rules have.

      Thankfully they at least seem to have learned from it. I don’t know if the Canucks will ever have the personnel to brawl with teams like the Bruins (and I don’t care) but once they bring in a few more players that can create space and fight through the tight checking and obstruction that’s dominated the Western Conference in the playoffs they’ll be much better positioned to win that sixteenth playoff game.

      • nunan - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        I think the more lenient rules during the playoffs are a good thing, or else you get basketball where every call is so subjective and two refs regularly disagree on a call that was made. To have those calls effect a playoff game is unacceptable. It’s maddening. They do let them play more but not so much where integrity is lost. Also, the problem with the Canucks, IMO, is that they don’t play by the rules. They won’t do the more physical stuff, which is fine if that’s their style, but they constantly embellish, which is worse than anything. They are literally trying to trick officials and, to me, that is the most disrespectful thing a player can do. At least with teams like the Bruins, they are physical and what you see is what you get. Sometimes that physicality leads to penalties but that is honest hockey. Guys like Burrows, Lapierre, the Sedins and Kesler lower themselves to this crap. The Sedins aren’t physical, and that is fine, but just because they aren’t physical doesn’t mean they need to try and make their mark some other way, by drawing penalties. Just play the game. Kesler pisses me off the most. He is such a big, strong player and he reverts to diving all the time. He should act like a power forward, because he is, not some clown who dives every chance he gets.

  3. dt58 - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Seems to me that the sisters just can’t handle contact sports…

    • davebabychreturns - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:40 PM


    • salmon90 - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:41 PM

      If by ‘can’t handle’ you mean: not missing a game and playing through injuries for 7 seasons while playing against the best d-men in the world every night, winning Art Ross and Hart Trophies, and captaining one of the top teams in the NHL. How’s your game?

    • sectualvanilla - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:10 AM

      Two girls, no cup.

  4. loinstache - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    hahahaha canuck haters continue to shine as some of the trashiest “hockey fans”

  5. dt58 - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    “Calling games by the books” includes penalties for diving…are you sure that’s what you want?

    • davebabychreturns - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      I’m fine with it. I’ve said around here in the past I would like to see players punished for blatant embellishment. I’ve also said around here in the past it pisses me off to see players on the team I cheer for doing it.

      So, yeah.

    • salmon90 - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      They do call penalties for diving.

  6. dt58 - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Playoffs is all about “tough hockey”. Van isn’t built for that. Great rec/non-contact team though

  7. dt58 - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Less penalties in the playoffs is a good thing. Let the players decide the outcome, not the refs. I totally agree about “trying to trick the refs” comment. PLAY THE GAME. It’s not that “everyone hates the Canucks”, its just that people are sick of watching grown men act like children by faking and throwing temper-tantrums

    • salmon90 - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:42 PM

      Watch Dustin Brown much?

      • loinstache - Feb 1, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        Seriously it blows my mind that he escapes the diving criticism, he’s TERRIBLE for it and anze kopitar isn’t far behind

  8. vstar1us - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    I played crappy hockey so I will blame it on the Refs

  9. jpat2424 - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    No!! The whiny Canucks complaining about something else. Get out of here.

    • loinstache - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      Betting literacy isn’t your strong point, nothing new has been said at all – the article is just commenting it’s the same ref. Good thing you have the media though, thinking for yourself is real tough eh?

  10. thehighcountrybear - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    I always admired Halloran’s ability as a referee…his work In Hawks v Canucks games is notable in its fairness and objectivity. Five star referee left supervising three star plugs and pussies on both teams…Dan’s underpaid in my opinion!

    • salmon90 - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:47 PM


  11. somekat - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Speaking of horrible refs. Once again, the flyers are playing 9 guys at once.

    After a touch penalty on Tims, and a phantom penalty on Rinaldo, the Caps get nohting for a blatant elbow after simmonds tipped it by the bumb that breaks his nose. I also gurantee he will get no suspension. If that was Simmonds hitting him, he’d of got a major,and a game misconduct, guranteed. It would be followed by a minimum 7 game suspension

  12. csilojohnson - Feb 1, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Let me get this straight. All this fuss is over the fact the penaltys werent majors? I don’t think I read about any missed calls. Seems the Canucks have a pretty high maintenance fan base.

    • loinstache - Feb 1, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      Honestly it’s worse if a referee sees it and lacks the judgement to serve an appropriate penalty when it’s as flagrant as it was

  13. dt58 - Feb 1, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    Top team in the NHL…thought we were talking about the Canucks. Lots of banners hanging from the rafters there in Vancouver?

  14. dt58 - Feb 1, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Actually used to really enjoy watching the Canucks all the way back to R Brodeur but can’t handle watching them now. Flopping around on the ice like fish and crying that everyone is against them off it

  15. mpops86 - Feb 2, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Alain Vigneault can’t go away soon enough.

  16. crusty14 - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    So I guess the NHL is supposed to bow down to AV and the Canucks and only schedule the refs they want to officiate their games? How ridiculous, you get who you get!

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1862)
  2. P. Kessel (1429)
  3. M. Richards (1220)
  4. N. Backstrom (1131)
  5. M. Giordano (1087)