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NHL referees to open up training camp this weekend

Sep 6, 2013, 8:45 PM EDT

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Six Getty Images

National Hockey League referees, who often bear the brunt of frustrations from fans, players and coaches, will open up training camp tomorrow in preparation for the upcoming season.

The camp, which takes place in Ontario’s Simcoe County, opens up Saturday when the executive management team arrives, and on-ice sessions begin Monday and run through to Thursday, as per Erika Engel of the Blue Mountains Courier-Herald.

Officiating has remained a controversial issue in the NHL.

The standard for officiating has been in the eyes of many to be inconsistent, prompting a number of coaches and players – including Sidney Crosby – to give their opinion on the matter.

Some hockey pundits, including Mike Milbury, have outright voiced their frustrations about referees.

Last month, it was announced that Stephen Walkom is once again taking over the position of NHL’s senior vice-president and director of officiating, a position he held from 2005 to 2009, with Terry Gregson retiring.

  1. jrocknstuff - Sep 6, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    As a die hard hockey fan who also happens to watch the MLS religiously, NHL officiating is Hall of Fame caliber comparatively.

    • Anoesis - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:56 PM

      Damned by faint praise. No pro sport has exemplary officiating, but some are demonstrably worse than others.

  2. ravenscaps48 - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    I wonder what the flavor of the year will be this year? Last year it was interference. Maybe consistency this season!

    • Anoesis - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      One can only hope. Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and again.

  3. kicksave1980 - Sep 7, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    We all get mad at the officiating, but these guys are (largely) the best at their craft. They don’t want to screw up in front of the crowd and tv audience either. The game happens FAST at ice-level and these guys get it right more often than not.

    The only thing that really bothers me is situational penalty calling. A penalty is a penalty regardless of how much time is on the clock. I’d like to see that stressed more.

  4. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    It is easy to criticize from the stands or at home. These guys are some of the best officials in the world. If every fan officiated at least one youth level hockey game, they would have a new found appreciation the zebras. They are human and will make mistakes. It happens in every sport. I feel that we, us NHL fans, have the best officials for the job.

  5. jrocknstuff - Sep 7, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Kicksave – couldn’t agree more. I think my one big complaint with NHL officiating is their need to even up the calls come the third period. If my team has 5 power plays through 2 periods and the opponent has 2, I can expect to get called for any touch or any tick tack hold that wasn’t called in the previous two periods. A penalty needs to be a penalty for the entire 60 minutes, for an entire 82 game season.

  6. sunderlanding - Sep 7, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Situational officiating happens in every sport. People always complain about hockey doing it, and claim (falsely) that other sports don’t, but it is simply not true. Last years Super Bowl a lot of people were up in arms about the lack of a holding call at the end of the game, by lots of die hard NFL fans will say you can’t make that call at that point in the Super Bowl. MLB umpires will tighten up strike zones late in close games, or even in important games. Happens all the time. It’s not just hockey.

  7. jrocknstuff - Sep 7, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    I’m not arguing that. Probably happens more in soccer than any other sport. A foul that’s called anywhere else on the field is constantly overlooked inside the 18. I’m just saying that’s my biggest complaint with NHL officiating, I would rather my team head into the third having killed 3 or 4 more penalties. But overall I’m very pro NHL refs

  8. bufffalojoe - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    NO GOAL!

  9. canadianguest - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    We don’t need the referees and linesmen to be perfect, just competent and consistent.

    • redridershoottheireyeout - Sep 8, 2013 at 12:46 AM

      That is the understatement of the century yet an idea that may never be realized.

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