Officiating in the NHL has been a hot topic this season. Calls and non-calls are always a point of contention in sports, but the NHL has seen a large number of players and coaches bashing the league to the media over the inconsistency and confusion surrounding goaltender interference calls.
As you might imagine, the NHL isn’t too happy with all of the public complaints.
As seen on Sportsnet, the NHL is planning to address this topic at the next general managers meeting. In summary, they don’t want players and coaches bashing and complaining about the league publicly.
Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston on the situation:
“We’ve been talking for a while about how this issue will be discussed but I think there’s going to be another pushback and that comes from Colin Campbell, who runs the NHL’s hockey operations department, who’s going to give the message across that it’s not OK to have the type of criticism we saw from Mike Babcock.”
Babcock, the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, recently ripped the NHL apart over yet another puzzling goaltender interference decision.
Babcock’s comments show the level of frustration that both he, and many other players and coaches, have felt this season.
“Well what I don’t like is what the report that came out from the league is different than what [the referees] told me. They told me he was interfered with outside the paint, which is not true. That tonight is goalie interference any way you look at it. That tonight, the goal is off, and the coaches in the league? No one knows what’s going on.
So we better get it solved. Just saying, just a statement them saying ‘OK we’re going to leave it the way it is’ – no chance. Let’s get it fixed.”
These are the types of statements the NHL would love to remove from the media. Not surprisingly, they don’t want to see their representatives publicly bashing the rules or the officiating. But isn’t the NHL missing the larger issue here?
Instead of spending time and effort trying to curb the media complaints, why not tackle the issue that’s causing all of those complaints? Goaltender interference is a mystery in the NHL. There’s no rhyme or reason over what’s called and what’s not called. That creates a ton of frustration and confusion for everyone involved. The league needs to have an open dialogue over fixing the problem rather than trying to censor coaches and players who are tired of the current system.