Wednesday, February 1, 2012

NHL Reffing: an Epidemic?



In the Maple Leafs game on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh Tyler Bozak's pretty goal was called back because the referee was under the impression that Joffery Lupul interfered with the goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Here's the video, you tell me what it looks like.


This isn't the first time these types of plays go uncalled or miscalled. In fact, the very same night there was another (maybe even worse) goaltender interference call in Phoenix. Leafs fans will also remember Colton Orr running over the Florida Panthers goaltender last season, which directly led to the Leafs game winning goal.

So on the heels of yet another terrible, terrible goaltender interference non-call, people are upset and it seems like its all anyone can talk about. Should the NHL impose a coaches challenge similar to the NFL coaches challenge? I believe I have a simpler solution, take the jump to find out what it is.


Making the right call should be a referee's main priority and doing anything less should be a disappointment, just as a shutout loss is for a player - but to my point. Headphones are a normal thing in helmets nowadays, the NFL has two players per squad that can talk to their coaches wirelessly through their helmets. My proposal has the head official on the ice wearing a helmet that he can communicate with another referee that is watching the game from above. This would be giving the refs an angle that they have been missing forever, the angle that everyone watching on TV and at the game has.

Adding a ref to a box with a headset shouldn't be too costly and the fact that he and the head on-ice ref can talk seamlessly will not slow down game-play whatsoever. Obviously with CBA restrictions and NHL by-laws this isn't something that could be implemented quickly or without a lot of trial runs, but it is something that will help out, in a game that seems to be getting too fast for the referees.

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