Month: June 2014

Ref Reading: NHL Officiating – Time for a Change

Via Blueline Station Blueline Station’s Lewis Rosengarten took a critical look at NHL officiating: “It must first be stated that hockey is perhaps the most difficult sport to officiate. The referees and linesmen must keep up with the unmatched speed of the players the entire game, often eclipsing thirty miles an hour. Officials have to be in supreme shape and must make instant breakneck speed calls, staying in position, without the benefit of slow motion or arm chair refereeing. Contrast this with the motionless, grazing that a baseball umpire can enjoy if his assignment is not home plate, or a pitcher...

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Geiger is First American Ref to Work Knockout Round at World Cup

Soccer referee Matt Geiger became the first American official to work the World Cup as a primary ref since 2002. Now he’s the first American referee to ever work the knockout round in the 84-year history of the FIFA World Cup.   He’ll take to the pitch for Monday’s match between Nigeria and France. Geiger, a native of Beachwood, New Jersey, has been officiating since age 13.  “I grew up watching the World Cups, but I only started out refereeing as a teenager to make a few extra dollars,” he told PROReferees.com before heading to Brazil.  “It was a hobby that...

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Bill McCreary Inducted Into Hockey Hall of Fame

NHL referee Bill McCreary is once of the 2014 inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame. McCreary joined the NHL in 1984.  His 27-year career included 1,700 regular season games and 282 playoff games.   The Guelph native officiated fifteen Stanley Cup Finals, including fourteen straight appearances.  He donned the stripes for an amazing 27 playoff Game Sevens.  McCreary also officiated two Olympics, having worked the Gold Medal Games in both the 1998 Nagano and 2002 Salt Lake City.  He also officiated the From the Hockey Hall of Fame: In the Referee and Linesman category, Bill McCreary was elected. After...

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ESPN’s John Buccigross Talks NHL Officiating

John Buccigross has hockey in his blood and chicken parm in his belly.  A part of ESPN since 1996, Buccigross became hockey royalty in 1998 when he first stepped behind the desk of ESPN2’s NHL 2Night.  For eight glorious years, he ruled the evening’s hockey highlights.  John’s still going strong at ESPN, doing his best to carry the NHL torch on SportsCenter and in his online column.   He’s also the network’s voice of the NCAA Frozen Four College Hockey Championship. We caught up with John for a quick chat about NHL playoff officiating and possible rule changes.   Scouting the...

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The NHL is Looking for a Few Good Refs

UPDATED:  You can now sign up for the NHL Exposure Combine, which takes place August 15-17 in Buffalo. They’ll give you a roof and keep you fed as long as you can get there and back.  You don’t even need to have experience with a whistle: “No officiating experience is required, good hockey sense is welcomed.” If you’ve ever dreamed of pulling on the zebra stripes… If intending to blow your whistle – but not actually blowing your whistle – has ever crossed your mind… If being the target of verbal abuse by tens of thousands of beer-fueled, blood-crazed...

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NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Officials with the Cup

After over 85 minutes of hockey, the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 in double-overtime to win the Stanley Cup.   While the Kings hoisted the Cup on the ice, they weren’t the only ones who got to spend a moment with the greatest trophy in all professional sports. Congrats again to the Stanley Cup Finals officiating crews! Follow us on Twitter –...

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Congrats to the 2014 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings

Congratulations to the 2014 Los Angeles Kings on a hard-fought win over the New York Rangers to claim the 2014 Stanley Cup. Also, congrats to all the referees and linesmen who officiated the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but most notably the officials for the Stanley Cup Final. Referees: Steve Kozari, Wes McCauley, Dan O’Halloran, and Brad Watson Linesmen: Derek Amell, Scott Driscoll, Shane Heyer, and Brad Kovachik   Follow us on Twitter –...

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Was Stepan’s Goal-Saving Play a Penalty?

With just 1:11 left to play and the New York Rangers clinging to a one-goal lead, Derek Stepan may have single-handedly prevented the tying goal.   ‘Hand’ being the operative word.   Watch as he pushed the puck — sitting precariously close to the goal line — under netminder Henrik Lundqvist. So, was this a legal play?   Yes, thanks to some smart work by Stepan. Watch the near-goal again and you’ll see Stepan use the side of his glove to push the puck under Lundqvist.   He was careful not to close his hand on the puck or...

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Stanley Cup Final Referees – Rangers/Kings Game 5

New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings – Game 5 – 8:00pm Steve Kozari #40 Reg. Playoffs Team Record – NYR 1-3 2-3 Team Record – LAK 3-4 4-0 Minors per game 4.0 4.6 PIM per game 11.6 13.6 % more minors on road team 15.4% -11.8% Home win % 47% 50% Calls/Pd (Avg)* 1st 2nd 3rd – Rd 1 2.2 4.0 2.4 – Rd 2 1.5 2.8 0.8 – Conf Final 2.0 2.0 1.5** – Cup Final 1.5 4.5 2.5 Avg Minors by Team (Reg Season) – NYR 2.3, Opp 2.1 – LAK 2.4, Opp 2.1 Power Plays/Gm (Playoffs) – NYR 5.3, Opp...

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Congrats to our 2014 Playoffs Ref Pick ‘Em Winner!

Congratulations to our Scouting the Refs 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Ref Pick ‘Em Winner:   Kevin M. of Massachusetts    He was the only person to successfully select the Final Four Stanley Cup Referees: Steve Kozari, Wes McCauley, Dan O’Halloran, and Brad Watson.  He had all but two picks correct for the entire postseason officiating bracket. Some highlights: Less than 10% of you had Steve Kozari working the Cup Final. Not too surprising, since he’d never before worked a Cup Final. 47% of you correctly figured that Wes McCauley and Dan O’Halloran would make the Stanley Cup Final together....

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June 2014
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