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(regarding a call so bad it deserves it's own thread).

So, the NHL says that the referee intended to blow the whistle earlier than he did, thus the goal did not count because of his "intent".

So because he made a mistake that was absolutely visible on replay, the "intent" mattered more than the reality of the situation.

Then, and I pose this question to all here on motownsports and everywhere else, using that logic, shouldn't we count every shot as a goal? I mean, the shooter's "intent" was to score, but he made a mistake and didn't.

Sounds a bit ridiculous, eh? Sounds like the NHL to me.

Keep in mind this is and will be an off-year for the Red Wings. But the Red Wings having an off-year is the Red Wings not running away with the divison. The Red Wings have a very real chance of finishing somewhere around 4th or 5th in the Western Conference. Wouldn't it be a huge steaming pile of dog poop if the Red Wings finish 1 point out of 4th? This stupid, unforgivable call could wind up costing Mike Illitch over $1 million (the profit they make for a home playoff game).

It's already stupid enough that we go three or four years without seeing the Maple Leafs or Montreal playing here in Detroit, but the league needs to come down hard on referees that clearly miss the call. It never will.

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I love hockey and I love the Red Wings, but there is no doubt the NHL is the worst league in professional sports.

Thank you, thank you...Gary Bettman.

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On what basis do you make that claim, wingnut?

On the basis of how the league is run. Gary Bettman has done a fine job of destroying the NHL.

The great rivalries are dead.

The original 6 teams barely ever play eachother.

Markets that could easily support a team do not have one, while markets that have no business having a team have one and are going bankrupt.

While other leagues broadcast on the major networks and ESPN, the NHL has a contract with who? Versus. Many people do not even know they have Versus, or what it is. Hell, it used to be the Outdoor Life Network. The occasional game is on NBC, but other than that, the games are being shown on a channel in which only die-hard fans know when their team is on.

The lockout hurt the league so bad, and while it has bounced back, it's hard to imagine it ever being back to where it should be as long as Gary Bettman runs it.

The league is lucky to be 5th among major sports with how it's been run into the ground. Football, Baseball, Basketball, and sadly, NASCAR, are all waaaaaaay ahead of it in terms of fans and ratings. It's a very sad thing, I love the NHL, I love the Red Wings, but the league itself is a joke.

Edited by wingnut736

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As much as I dislike Bettman, he's not the sole reason the league has "mainstreamed." There are 30 owners who are also culpable.

From a Wings fan's perspective the Original Six rivalries are dead, but if you're a fan of an Eastern conference team they're still alive and kicking with Toronto, Montreal, Boston and NYR playing each other at least four times each year. I also lay some of the blame at the feet of Ken Dryden for whining Toronto into the East leaving only two West Original Six teams.

Not seeing the East teams twice each year is because the East owners submarined that with their unwillingness to increase their travel budget.

Non-traditional markets were granted a team because the owners split the franchise fees. The more expansion teams the more money in their pockets. That's why you'll probably see more expansion before you see relocations. Relocated teams don't pay franchise fees. I don't like hockey in Tampa, Miami or Atlanta, but they all paid hefty amounts to the owners to get a team.

ESPN had the NHL before and when it came time to renew they knew they could get bigger ratings with three year old re-runs of poker than a hockey game. Hockey is a regional game and it took me awhile to realize that fact.

Edited by dadair6

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Not to mention that Comcast (who owns Versus) just pulled the channel from DirecTV and DishNetwork systems. Now I can't watch anything unless I get cable (which I won't).

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The NHL was poorly run before Bettman. Remember crying John Ziegler, anyone?

Versus was a necessary evil springing out of the ill-fated decision by players and owners to take a year's vacation. The NHL will be in a better position to get back on ESPN now if it wants to.

The NHL has always been a weak 4th in terms of team sport popularity in the U.S. There are no glory days to look back on when it was 2nd or 3rd. It's in no danger of losing that 4th "team" sport spot anytime soon. NASCAR is more popular, so is golf, but historically boxing and maybe even track & field had always been more popular too. But Canadians are people too and if you combine Canadian and U.S. audiences, gate receipts and TV ratings are similar for the two leagues.

NHL reffing can be very poor and the league's arrogance in reluctance to admit mistakes is maddening. But we've already forgotten the MLB post-season? Or the NBA's Tim Donaghy?

NHL expansion and relocation has been a mixed bag. Denver, San Jose, Dallas, Anaheim, Columbus, Carolina, Tampa .. all good or not bad. Miami, Phoenix, Atlanta ... bad, but as much due to bad players and/or bad management as bad fans. And even Phoenix has higher average attendance than the Jets did (I admit the figures could be papered or based on lower average ticket prices). But this view that other markets could "easily" support a team. Where? Hartford? No. Seattle/Portland? No. Winnipeg? No. Quebec City? No. Southern Ontario? The only solid yes (outside of Europe). But note that Ottawa's attendance is down 1,000 per game this year from 19,000 to 18,000 and the Leafs have several vacant suites this season. So don't assume too much about the supposed limitless demand in Southern Ontario.

One of my problems with intent is that surely there are times when the ref intended to blow the whistle, had the whistle at his mouth, but something happened at the last moment to make him change his mind. In those cases, he was allowed to change his mind because by him never blowing the whistle it would hard to prove he had intent. "Intent" gives too much discretion to a referee's silent thoughts, which if too frequent puts one in the territory of corrupt judge-based sports like figure skating and gymnastics.

Edited by lordstanley

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NHL reffing can be very poor and the league's arrogance in reluctance to admit mistakes is maddening. But we've already forgotten the MLB post-season? Or the NBA's Tim Donaghy?

Great post. The only thing that I would add/change is that the baseball umps are consistently better than NHL refs IMO. This post-season was obviously different and that is why it got so much publicity. I think that most of the calls in the field are the correct ones in baseball with this post-season being the exception to the rule. I think that the NHL misses far more calls than any other league and it is basically accepted by the fans and players. Maybe being a hockey official is that much harder than officiating other major sports, but I still think that they do a terrible job of making sure they get the call right in the end (even with replay being implemented) or disciplining players in a consistent fashion.

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The NHL was poorly run before Bettman. Remember crying John Ziegler, anyone?

Remember the Jim Schoenfeld / Don Koharski incident?

To recap for young ones, after a playoff game New Jersey coach Jim Schoenfeld was yelling at referee Don Koharski after a game as the two were making their way to the locker room. Koharski kind of stumbled on his skates and accused Shoeny of shoving him (you can look at the video below and make your own call).

"go have another donut you fat pig". Schoenfeld was suspended, but a judge barred the suspension, he was behind the bench for the next game and the referees boycotted the game, replacement referees had to be used and all hell broke lose with several fights, coaches trying to fight players. Why was this such a disaster? Ziegler was on vacation in Europe. DURING THE PLAYOFFS. DURING THE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS !!!!! Idiot.

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