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Sunday, May 16, 2010


 For those of you who follow ice hockey, you may have heard of this. For those of you who don't, I dare to suspect that the majority of you know what is fair and what is not. With this in mind I bring you the worst rule in any professional sport courtesy of the NHL.

 "The play is not dead when the official blows the whistle, but when he intends to blow the whistle." (rule 78.5 vii)

  The first victim of this season's insanity was Brad May, and he did not score another goal in Detroit . But he wasn't the first high-profile victim. That honour belongs to Marian Hossa, denied the game-tying goal during last years playoffs. (Game 3 vs Anaheim) Both men were denied goals because the referee was too busy to pull the whistle out of his ass. And for those of you who don't know, there are generally 4 officials on the ice at any given time.

  This is an example of a rule that is ripe for abuse. Because it is so arbitrary, refs can disallow goals for no logical reason, opening a door to scuzziness like bribery and favoritism. Because players are fined for critiquing officials and league regulations, they have no recourse against revenge type calls. If you annoy the referee, don't be shocked when you are slapped with ridiculous penalties and have your earned goals denied. It is already an open secret in the league that certain players are treated with kid gloves and permitting this just tips the ice more. Players are somehow expected to now add telepathy to one of their vast array of skills since they are expected to know when the ref felt like blowing the whistle but was too lazy or decrepit to do so.

What other sport gives such an extension of absolute power to a group of human beings?

  It is time for the NHL to revise this insanity before the game becomes the laughing stock of sport.

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