FanPost

The Art of Officiating

Now that Stephen Walkom has been promoted into a position of tangible influence, will we see some major changes in the way officiating is executed and will we see some new interpretations of existing rules enforced immediatly and consistantly? I know the 2 Referee system has been the focus of much criticism, much of it warranted in my opinion, but that aside I feel there is an epic imbalance in the number of penaltys called in nearly every NHL game. There is no way I can understand that a top 5 NHL possesion based team with overall elite speed and no real pluggers or pugalists can end up with nearly as many penaltys as the opposition over 82 games. The numbers just dont add up to me. I believe Referees are evening the playing field and it is causing epic disconnects in the ways teams are managing and executing the game on the ice. This mismanagment is forcing teams to change nearly everything they do. The Oilers due to their speed and skill levels should have a penalty advantage that is disparate and in their favor nearly every game. The true value of Special teams has been bastardised by creative officiating interpretations and needs to be corrected. Teams should be encouraged to play clean and skilled hockey with the real threat of punative action that should be escalating in nature and continue for 60 minutes with no ceiling.This means you can be sunk by the end of the first period and still be hammered on for two more periods, scores get as high as 10 goals for one side that way. Like they should. Play clean or be punished. If teams try gooning then toss guys out immediatly, one by one until they comply, then file grievances with the Union if they dont shape up. In most games the Referees refuse to allow the natural hockey dynamic to unfold by intentionally stopping one team from achieving a lopsided Special Teams statistic, and this encourages a muck lower level of hockey to be played in the NHL. Fans pay to much money to accept a second rate product . I want to see the Oilers be able to play clean and hard offensive hockey with the support of the NHL Referees and Power Structure. I wonder how Walkoms personality and prior style will translate into this coming years officiating execution? Has anyone followed him closely enough to make a fair and unbiased assesment of his potential impact?
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