Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Video Review

Ok, so after a couple of instances in the last few games, I feel like the NHL is forcing me to write about this topic. In the NHL it is against the rules for a team to show a video replay that may be considered "controversial for the home crowd." This includes potential penalties, goal or no goal situations, etc. Teams can choose to show video replays of these situations to the inhouse crowd, but there is a fine involved. In some instances, the team chooses to show the video replay and pay the fine. One of these instances was a little over a week ago when a referee decided to call a phantom hand pass to waive out a tying goal with less than ten seconds left. In some instances, the the home crowds are left with no explination of what the referee called simply an "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" call is given in the case of a penalty, or a simple "No goal" on potential scores.

Sadly, the reason the NHL has to take such steps is due to the basic incompetence of the officials. As some of the last generation of officials have faded the last few years (see the departure of Angus, and Stewart), the newer NHL officials seem to be less horrible than the last generation. Of course, this could be because the 2-referee system makes it harder to learn which official is which.

If the NHL is serious about improving the quality of the in-game experience, then it needs to allow the fans to see the replays. All of them. Don't give the fans a reason to stay home instead of coming out, and being able to follow the game because of replays would be one reason for that.

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