This entire post isn’t going to be “Wah wah Gary Bettman needs to go” but he’s in here hence the photo.
It’s July. Still. God this month drags for what feels like an eternity. I have no passionate feelings about anything so it’s hard to find a writing topic. New divisions? Whatever. The Minnesota Wild crying poor? Meh. Mikhail Grabovski remaining unsigned? Yeah, what is up with that? NHL GMs, man.
When the passion isn’t there, you can’t force it. That’s how you wind up with a ninth season of Friends and marriage. So instead of forcing it with one of those aforementioned topics (Seriously, if Grabovski winds up somewhere besides the NHL, this league should be embarrassed), I’m doing one of those things about ways to make the NHL better that will never happen but whatever it’s fun.
Some are obvious, some maybe aren’t, some are probably dumb, some are definitely things you’ve heard before. So here’s some stuff about hockey to distract you from your life and job for a few minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
Being a referee is a hard job on your average day. In an exhibition game, in a men’s league, in the NHL and in peewee. I spent parts of a couple summers reffing, and I remember being surprised at how much my own fatigue affected my ability to be in the right place. It’s kind of like being a penalty killer for 60 minutes – the job requires a lot of stops and starts to be in the perfect position, and while you’re doing that, you need to be keeping a clear, focused mind on the action.
And hockey doesn’t lend itself to simple decisions. Big bodies whip around an enclosed area chasing a small object that passes over lines at various heights, and sometimes things simply aren’t black and white. Even with multiple cameras and slo-mo replays, it can occasionally be hard to get calls right.
So I’m sympathetic to the plight of the referee, partially because of the above job description, but also because you add to that the contempt of both teams on the ice, the coaches, and all the fans in the building. They live in a state of perpetual mistrust.
What that situation means is that all they can do is their best, be true to themselves, and hope the game doesn’t unfold in a manner like say, Chicago/Detroit did last night. Read the rest of this entry »