Whether you’re a fan, a member of the media, a player, a coach, a GM or even a casual fan of the NHL, you know that the officiating is not up to par in hockey’s highest level of play in the world. Blatant and even dangerous infractions are not being called while players get a penalty for knocking the stick out of someone’s hands. Yes, some of it is rules related, like the puck over the glass or the determination of a minor or double minor based on a little bit of blood. But most of what’s frustrating everyone is the inconsistency not only from game to game, but within the same game. One was (finally) caught on tape and the NHL is pretending to flex its muscles… or throwing a smoke screen.
In case you missed it, during the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators last night, one of the referees, Tim Peel, was caught on tape explaining his decision to call a weak penalty against Viktor Arvidsson. At 4:56 of the second period, Peel called the Predators’ forward for a very questionable tripping call. That’s something happening all the time in the NHL as the level of incompetence is abnormally high. But Peel was caught on tape explaining his decision…
“It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a f*** penalty against Nashville early in the…” ~ Tim Peel
The NHL investigated and here’s what they had to say:
Hypocrisy and incompetence
To put things into perspective, Peel was retiring at the end of this season. The NHL stating that they are “taking any and all steps necessary to protect the integrity of our game” is the most laughable statement out there. The league has been hiding their head in the sand, ignoring the horrible officiating ever since they brought the two-referee system. Now that one is caught on tape, they pretend it’s a one-off and fire someone? Who do you think you’re fooling?
Stop pretending, NHL, and do something. I swear that the officiating wouldn’t be worse – could even be better – if they went back to the single referee system. You would cut half the crew of incompetents and referees for whom the play is way too fast for them. Expansion alone has created a bigger need for officials. You as a league have compounded the problem by doubling the number of referees and adding two judgments on the same ice. Right there, it’s a big issue. Stop pretending. Enough with the smoke screen and fix your biggest issue. Everyone is pissed off and has had enough. Making Tim Peel the scapegoat won’t fix your self-induced biggest problem.