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NHL referees to wear microphones

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  • NHL referees to wear microphones

    NHL referees to wear microphones

    Referees will wear microphones and announce penalties to spectators and to viewers watching at home when the NHL restarts with all 30 teams playing Wednesday night.

    It's the latest innovation for a league eager to attract attention and lure fans after losing its 2004-2005 season to a collective bargaining impasse.

    The new set-up might not be in place in all arenas opening night but it will be there for each team's second home game, league officials promised Monday.

    Referees will announce single and offsetting penalties in English. If there are multiple penalties at the same time, to avoid delaying games announcements will be left to arena public address systems. In every instance, the in-house announcer will repeat the referee's call, which will enable penalty calls in Montreal to continue to be relayed to spectators in French.

    Also, fans at home openers will receive a mini Stanley Cup replica courtesy of the NHL upon leaving the 30 arenas. Individual teams also have their own giveaways planned.

    "It's our way of saying thanks to fans for sticking with us," said deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

    Colin Campbell, vice-president of hockey operations, and referee-in-chief Stephen Walkom said they are satisfied with the progress being made in limiting obstruction fouls.

    During the pre-season that ended Sunday, there was an average of 17 power plays per game. During the 2003-2004 regular season, there were an average of 11 per game, with an increase in power-play goals scored. Moving the blue-lines slightly further from defensive zones had something to do with the numbers, said Campbell. So did a diligent administration of the obstruction crackdown by the referees.

    "To us, it's not about statistics," Walkom said during a league-sponsored conference call. "It's about a standard.

    "If the players don't conform to the standard, then there will be penalties. I noticed a big change in terms of the flow of the game" as pre-season wore on and players adapted.

    Hitting shouldn't decrease because of the crackdown, said Campbell, adding that the reintroduction of the tag-up rule on offsides will make sure of that. But some players said after exhibition games that passion and intensity was being sucked out of games because of some players' temerity to be nabbed for calls that weren't being made in previous seasons.

    "I don't agree with that," said Campbell. "That's just a knee-jerk reaction.

    "The pre-season has never been a whole-hitting affair. Wait till the real games to judge any trends. In my mind, if you can dump the puck in, there'll be a lot more hitting if you can't hold players up."

    Players and coaches continue to adapt, said Campbell.

    "For the most part, we have noticed a difference in the game," he said.

    Players are finding more open ice when they're not being hooked and held.

    "The whole process is right about where we expected it to be," said Campbell. "The real test will come when the games are for real and points are at stake.

    "It's a process we will be on top of consistently."

    One aspect of the crackdown is to stop defencemen in front of their own nets from cross-checking opponents out of the way.

    "(The referees) have been instructed that, the old tactic of continuously punishing the player in front of the net with continuous cross-checking, we want it removed from the game," said Walkom. "In terms of battling for position and bumping, we haven't taken that out of the game."

    Things are far from perfect yet.

    "We're not kidding anybody," said Walkom "This isn't over by any means."

    Walkom spoke with his staff Monday.

    "Our guys will have to stay the course and call the new standard of enforcement from the start of the game to the end of the game," he said.

    Retired referee Terry Gregson has been added to staff, and new resource equipment such as DVDs has been put in place, to help guide on-ice officials on maintaining the crackdown.

    An average of 5.2 goals a game were scored during 2003-2004, while there was an average of 6.2 this pre-season.

    Players have been told they must keep their helmets on for shootouts. Helmets were optional for some pre-season games but players kept their helmets on.

    "Bad hairdos, I don't know," Campbell kidded when asked why players wouldn't choose to let the locks loose. "But we want consistency throughout the league so we're starting the season not allowing the players to take their helmets off."

    The league has decided to have dry Zamboni scrapes before shootouts if they are necessary to break ties, Campbell added.

    An attempt to have all goalies wear form-fitting sweaters, which would stop some goalies from wearing over-sized sweaters to help them stop pucks, has been shelved for now because the sweaters didn't arrive in time to allow players to get used to them, said Campbell.

    "We've decided to go with the regular sweaters goalies have been using," he said. "We'll deal with this issue as the season progresses. We'd like to see them introduced at some point."
    Official Sponsor of the National League Three-Peat.

  • #2
    So now everyone will find out that Kerry Fasier(sp) has a squeaky voice. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif[/img]


    • #3
      damn, a way to thank the fans and we get refs wearing mics?

      i hope they forget to turn them off sometimes during the game. now that would be entertaining.


      • #4
        Sweet, I should do that when I ref
        Official 2014-15 Lounge Sponsor of Jori Lehterä
        "He'll Finnish You Off"


        • #5
          QUOTE(Iowa_Card @ Oct 4 2005, 02:25 PM) Quoted post

          So now everyone will find out that Kerry Fasier(sp) has a squeaky voice. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif[/img]

          Do we really need to hear Frasier ask everyone in the building if his hair looks OK?
          RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
          You'll never be forgotten.


          • #6
            QUOTE(JWB @ Oct 4 2005, 02:26 PM) Quoted post

            QUOTE(Iowa_Card @ Oct 4 2005, 02:25 PM) Quoted post

            So now everyone will find out that Kerry Fasier(sp) has a squeaky voice. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif[/img]

            Do we really need to hear Frasier ask everyone in the building if his hair looks OK?

            now that's funny. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif[/img]


            • #7
              Don't you know there's a baseball playoff game going on right now in OUR city? Oh, sorry, I didn't think before I typed that. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cool.gif[/img] [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif[/img]

              STFU and eat your pork!!!!!!!1111 [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif[/img]
              RIP Stan the Man
              The StL Blues will NEVER win the Stanley Cup. I repeat, NEVER!
              I miss TLR!


              • #8
                the excuse for goalies not wearing form fitting jerseys is that "they did not arrive on time", what kind of a fucking excuse is that. I couldn't give 2 shits about whether they use form fitting jerseys or not, but jesus, this is a pro sports about some organization.
                You're being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That's not exactly what I'd call "a lot to lose."