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Report: officiating will be front and center at next week’s GM meetings

Mar 15, 2013, 11:09 PM EDT

Montreal Canadiens v Carolina Hurricanes Getty Images

National Hockey League referees have been highly criticized this season and officiating will be a main topic of discussion when league general managers meet next week in Toronto.

“I got a call asking me if there was anything I wanted to put on the agenda and I said, ‘Officiating,'” one undisclosed general manager told the Toronto Sun, “and I was told another GM had already tabled 37 items to do with officiating.”

The latest frustration with officiating and inconsistent calls came from the Nashville Predators’ camp following a 7-4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

Predators coach Barry Trotz was not pleased with the officials’ decision following a video review of Jannik Hansen’s goal late in the third period.

He and defenseman Shea Weber also took issue with a hooking call to Sergei Kostitsyn that resulted in a Henrik Sedin penalty shot goal with less than three minutes remaining in the third period of what was, prior to the call, a one-goal hockey game.

The idea of a coach’s challenge, similar to that in the National Football League, has also been brought up.

Last month, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told the Globe and Mail he was open to the idea of a coach’s challenge.


  1. JoeAvg - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall for this meeting! I’m not one to complain about officiating – their job is tough, but the quality has been declining over the last couple years.

    • ravenscaps48 - Mar 16, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      Get rid of a linesman and put a third ref on the ice. A coaches challenge. And make them be available to the media for five minutes after every game… That’s all I ask

      • tatdue - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        I really like the idea of making refs account for themselves with the media after every game. A little public embarrassment might lead to them doing a little bit better job on the ice. I think the NHL needs to implement some sort of points system and a punishment as well though….maybe take games away that they were supposed to work and give them instead to up and coming refs, and at the end of each season (or during if a ref is bad enough) evaluate their performances over all and promote and demote accordingly.

        I don’t like the idea of a third ref at all though. Two is more than plenty. One thing that absolutely has to be taken care of though is the stupid linesmen CONSTANTLY not dropping the puck and throwing out players from the face-offs! Between the linesmen and the refs some of the games I’ve watched this year have seemed dictated, and that takes away from the integrity of the game….

  2. mclovinhockey - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:39 AM


  3. JRZ Satan - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    Each and every one of us are judged on performance in our careers. Zebras should be held to the same standards. As it is now, refs that suck aren’t allowed to officiate playoffs and yet they will always have a job the following season. Total BS!

  4. blomfeld - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:27 AM


    Friends … whether it’s 1913 or 2013, the bottom line remains that any “dirty hit” is the hallmark sign of cowardice and evil. As we all know, anyone who “lethally” strikes at a man while defenseless and “void” of his implements, is both wicked and lowly. Therefore we will continue frowning upon “those” who choose to engage in such enterprise and we will “never” waver in our rejection of such abhorrent behavior. Those who do so, must be “dealt with” post haste and with prejudice, as should their agents of promotion.

  5. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:36 AM

    Can I chair it?

    Seriously, I’ll be watching games where I want both teams to lose and still find myself almost screaming at my TV because of how bad the calls are.

    Gary, sell Phoenix and then take some time to fix this bs.

  6. govtminion - Mar 16, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    I’d love to see a coach’s challenge, but with hockey not having nearly as many stops in play as football and baseball I’ll be curious to see how they manage it. I can’t see interrupting and stopping play for a challenge (that would get abused every time someone gets a breakaway!), but reviewing something that took place a couple of minutes ago since the last stop in play could be messy as well.

  7. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Referees to address the media is a terrible idea. Firstly, no one off the ice can see the play from their perspective, so it’s extremely easy for us to be critical when we watch from a different angle and away from the play because what happens on the ice happens so fast. Secondly, the media would have the opportunity to breakdown a penalty via video replay before asking questions. Thirdly, they have the head of referees who can review videos with them and listen to how they saw a play and determined it was a penalty. Fourthly, from the players and coaches perspective it’s all about consistency. Understanding how the game is going to be called is the key. Once they know they can adjust, but when you go from game to game, referee to referee who’s application of the rules differs makes it very difficult. Another bad idea is adding a third referee….. if 2 guys get it wrong, then why would a third make a difference?

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