SportsNet- NHL players and coaches have been vocal in their criticism of goaltender interference calls and non-calls this season and the league wants it to stop.
The topic will be addressed at the upcoming general managers meetings later this month, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
“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 [Toronto Maple Leafs coach] Mike Babcock [earlier this week],” Johnston said Saturday during the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada.
Johnston added: “There’s a feeling at the league office that this is not something that’s productive to the process whatsoever, the amount of complaining that’s gone on about it. … So there will be a continued discussion about where this is going, what’s happening, and the league has tried to be as transparent as it can with these rulings but certainly the message will be, ‘Don’t air your public laundry here to the press.’”
For what it's worth, the NHL doesn't differ all that much from just about every person reading this. Maybe we should demand more of a multi-billion dollar business that's often relatively successful despite itself, but let's not act like having their flaws candidly discussed is something that most people are open to. Hell, if I wasn't so tired of being cautiously pessimistic following the scoring of almost every goal, I might even be able to relate to the NHL's unwillingness to accept responsibility for their own inability to change for the better. I'm not an entity that prides itself on being the home of the most talented hockey players on the planet, but if I was? Boy, I would really hate to hear how badly I was self sabotaging their entertainment value. Having to address every single problem that pops up due to my own failure to be proactive? Yikes, that sounds exhausting.
Now, I suppose you could consider it a "to whom much is given, much is expected" situation, but much is also given to NHL players and coaches, so they too should be expected to do the near impossible by keeping their mouthes shut when the fruits of their finest efforts are made rotten by inconsistent replay reversals. Granted, all they are really asking for is some clarification on plays that undeniably have a lasting impact on the outcome of games that could hypothetically come to affect their job security, but is a common understanding really worth forcing Colin Campbell, Gary Bettman, and his boys to take a long bias-free look in the bathroom mirror?
Full disclosure, I would be much closer to being on the league's side if they just came forward and said that what they were actually just tired of is watching clips of Mike Babcock making the same complaint over, and over, and over again through the scrunched facial expression that looks like it belongs to someone whose beer is eternally bitter and whose lip eternally smells of a freshly fertilized toilet. More people could get behind that cause than one that's aimed that letting the NHL carry on business as counterproductive as usual.