Hossa Controvesy Brings to Light a Bigger Issue

The Toronto War Room. Look it's Colin Campbell!

Yeah, its been a while since I’ve posted anything and its starting to get to me. School’s keeping me pretty wrapped up but just another 3 weeks and I’ll be back on the blogging train.

Anyways, in the midst of a heated playoff race in the NHL’s Western Conference Marian Hossa was awarded a controversial goal in Chicago’s game last night against the St. Louis Blues. A storied franchise in the league, the Hawks are fresh off a Stanley Cup Winning season after a lengthy championship drought.

Check out the video here and decide for yourself.

Seriously though, there’s not much decide. For one thing there’s an 87.83% chance that it’s not a goal but it was ruled a goal on the ice so without indisputable evidence you probably can’t overturn that. However, there is undoubtedly a distinct kicking motion, which even the hometown Chicago Blackhawk announcers point out. Distinct kicking motion means no goal whether it was over the line or not. Duh.

The big issue here though is that every single play that goes to video review is transferred over to the head office in Toronto where they go ahead and make the decision. The referee’s or an independent party isn’t making a decision. It’s the guys working for the NHL that have an agenda. The NHL already has problems generating viewership in the United States especially after their brutal decision a few years ago to take a bit of extra money from the Versus network instead of sticking with ESPN.

The Chicago Blackhawks are a clearly a team the NHL would love to have in the playoffs. They sit on the brink of playoff elimination. Not so much after tonight’s win. It isn’t out of the question that the NHL is willing to look the other way on a controversial goal such as this one and give the benefit of the doubt to a storied, marketable American franchise.

Do I sound paranoid? Maybe just a bit, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put 2 and 2 together.

Goalie Ty Conklin wasn’t too happy about they call. He expressed a similar feeling in an interview after last night’s game saying that “They called it a goal on the ice, which is fine, that’s understandable. But the reason we have video replay is to get the right call. They’re probably going to make it into the playoffs anyway, but do we really have to make it that obvious that the league wants them in?”

What I think the NHL needs to change is having the infamous “war room” in Toronto making all the decisions on video replay reviews. They need the referees doing the decision-making, who most likely aren’t influenced, at least to the same degree, as some of those guys in Toronto. How can those guys in Toronto make an objective decision when you have Colin Campbell breathing down your neck?

I’ll admit that I really don’t know much about what goes on back there but I don’t understand why the referees aren’t making the decisions. The NFL has their refs making the calls on challenges so why don’t the referees, who actually call the game, possess the ultimate decision.

It’s ridiculous. Talk about conflict of interest. I mean, what if we had the NHL’s principal disciplinarian making the final call on suspensions that deal with his own son’s team. Oh wait, that already happens.

Having the head office in Toronto determining vital calls almost makes paying real money to see Charlie Sheen’s one man act seem logical. Almost.

This is not the first time something like this has happened either. The War Room in Toronto already takes 14 hours to decide on a call while it isn’t uncommon practice for them to butcher that very call. Nothing is going to be done about this but if the NHL wants to better it’s game this is something they need to look into. Hell, if they’re not going to fix the head shots what chance do we have of seeing a change with this.

Hey, if you took the time to read this sloppy post I want some feedback. Am I crazy? The NHL kind of pisses me off just generally so I thought I’d rant about it.

Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack too, you won’t regret it.

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

4 Responses to Hossa Controvesy Brings to Light a Bigger Issue

  1. No doubt, that’s a no goal. I don’t understand it either, the refs are like ghosts, there but not there, if you know what I mean.

  2. I guess I wasn’t really awaare of how the review decisions were made in the NHL. It seems kind of weak if you ask me.

    Meehan

    • caniacwiz says:

      Yeah, I think it’s always laughable that fans of other sports moan, complain and cry about their refereeing. Well guess what, you haven’t seen NHL refereeing yet! (Don’t take this personally, not targetting you in any way).

      This is why the NHL needs a challenge rule, similar to what the NFL has. I don’t think it’ll slow the game down that much (honestly, it can’t get slower than the War Room…. right..?), and it gives the refs a chance to get it right. Yeah, they get a lot of plays wrong, but they’re only human.

      Kind of brings me back to this call from last year’s playoffs:

  3. classic17 says:

    I’m a little late to the party on this one (just found your blog through the guys at Doin’ Work) but this whole sequence almost made me come out of my semi-retirement from the blogging world.

    I’m a Blues fan and I was watching this game live. I was thinking it would be the shortest review in history. Not only did it not cross the line, but it was clearly kicked. Even my wife, who isn’t the biggest hockey fan was sitting there wondering why it was taking so long. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but there’s really no other explanation for this. The Hawks have one of the biggest bandwagon fan bases in the sports. In 06-07 they were 29th in attendance, in 07-08 they were 19th before suddenly jumping to first when they started winning and the NHL obviously wanted them in over Dallas.

    I suppose it’s also worth mentioning that the clear high stick that busted Johan Franzen open during the final game of the season that didn’t get penalized lends some support to this theory. Pathetic, really.

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