The NHL needs a complete overhaul of how it handles crises

The approach to NHL officering will not change until gatekeepers do, and no one will trust the system. When the same people who have overseen operations for years and years, the Colin Campbells and Stephen Walkoms of the hockey world, are the ones tasked with conducting internal reviews and setting course, the standards will remain indecipherable.

For example, if Edmonton’s Mike Smith gives up softly, then we all add the disclaimer, “But being an NHL goaltender is a tough job?” Or, if Philipp Grubauer happens to score another close goal, does the Seattle goaltender defend? with the “I bet you couldn’t have held that” card?

Of course not. But any criticism of the NHL office is answered with these absurd separations. Flying an airliner sure is a pretty tough job, but we don’t excuse failures in the cockpit by the difficulty of piloting, do we? When an inedible meal is delivered to your restaurant table, instead of bringing it back to the kitchen, do you smile, chew and swallow because, let’s face it, you probably wouldn’t have been able to do such a good job?

When the Office’s requirements have become too difficult, the methodology needs to be changed. And it must be changed by those who have no interest in maintaining the status quo and by those willing to start with a blank screen. What makes sense at this stage in the development of the NHL as a sports and entertainment product?

NHL referee
The NHL needs to change its approach to office.

This should be a task for the joint NHL-NHLPA competition committee, when in fact it was more than theory and a rubber stamp for the relatively minor rule changes and interpretations recommended by the Board.

It’s evident almost every night just how badly the Devils season has been damaged by inferior goaltenders. But even if injured substitutes Nico Daws and Jon Gillies are trying to do their best, even when they’re over their heads, there’s no reasonable explanation for general manager Tom Fitzgerald’s refusal to change position in the face of the spate of bad goals that undermined to boost the confidence of his very young squad.

If you’re citing a team that is less than the sum of its parts, you’re citing the Devils multiple years in a row.

Tom Wilson must be so proud that he was able to slam Brendan Smith early last week after eventually goading him into a fight just over a month after the Carolina defender suffered a fractured skull when he saw Danton Heinen’s shot under the left ear blocked .

And what Smith, the former ranger whose troubles with Wilson date back to last May’s Artemi Panarin incident, fought in those conditions is unclear. Here’s a guess: the code.

Tom Wilson (right) scrap with Brendan Smith (left).
Tom Wilson (right) scrap with Brendan Smith (left).
NHLI via Getty Images

There was a time in 1997 when Shane Churla was banned from fighting by Rangers after the enforcer fractured an orbital bone in a previous confrontation. Frustrated by the restriction, Churla actually lashed out at those who supported her. The whole thing was embarrassing for him.

But No. 22 eventually fought, of course, and in a particularly infamous fight around Christmas, was bloodied by Hartford’s Stu Grimson, who held back and behaved with honor in a way that was alien to Wilson.

About the code: The Avalanche escaped misfortune when Nathan MacKinnon avoided injury after challenging and battling Matt Dumba after the Minnesota defender’s huge, legal hit spread an unsuspecting Mikko Rantanen as he put the puck in the zone wore. No instigator penalty was assessed, although it was according to the rule book definition. Of course not. Walkom will be happy to explain it to you.

I think that’s the code too: if you’re as talented as Trevor Zegras and don’t mind becoming one of the faces – certainly with Jack Hughes – of the NHL’s new-age skills, then you should be prepared to being scrutinized by a Neanderthal like Jay Beagle for no reason; and hearing from a TV analyst that you better be prepared to smack your mouth like Troy Terry was when he was trying to come to his teammate’s rescue.

Trevor Zegras
Trevor Zegras
Getty Images

“Do you want to improve it?” Arizona’s alleged analyst Tyson Nash said in the closing minutes of the Ducks’ 5-0 win on Friday. “Then you had better prepare yourself to be hit in the mouth.”

That’s exactly what every parent in the world with a squirt and pee wee age child wants to hear on the ice to work on The Michigan.

Best Back-to-Back First Overalls Rating: 1. Alex Ovechkin (2004)/Sidney Crosby (2005); 2. Gilbert Perreault (1970)/Guy Lafleur (1971); 3. Connor McDavid (2015)/Auston Matthews (2016); 4.Mario Lemieux (1984)/Wendel Clark (1985); 5. Joe Thornton (1997)/Vincent Lecavalier (1998); 6. Patrick Kane (2007)/Steven Stamkos (2008); 7. Mike Modano (1988)/Mats Sundin (1989); 8. Rick Nash (2002)/Marc-Andre Fleury (2003); 9.Steven Stamkos (2008)/John Tavares (2009); 10. Dale McCourt (1977)/Bobby Smith (1978).

After all, if they’re not even going to give Will Smith an instigator penalty for slapping Chris Rock, why the rule? The NHL needs a complete overhaul of how it handles crises


JOE HERNANDEZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JOE HERNANDEZ joined USTimeToday in 2022 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

Related Articles

Back to top button