First rule of refs: don’t talk about refs.

The Kelowna Rockets have been fined $500 for negative comments made about the officials to a member of CHL Hockey Operations. 

Kelowna dropped the opening game of 2015 Memorial Cup 4-3 to the Quebec Remparts. A total of 70 minutes in penalties were handed out in the game, with 44 to Kelowna and 26 to Quebec.  Four 10-minute majors were called, with three to Kelowna.  Leon Draisaitl of the Rockets and the Remparts’ Mar-Olivier Roy missed half of the third period as a result. 

Despite all those minutes, Quebec went 0-for-6 on the power play. Kelowna went 2-for-5.   

“I don’t remember being a part of a hockey game where there’s really not that much physicality going on yet there’s four 10-minute misconducts] handed out,” said Kelowna head coach Dan Lambert. “I don’t remember it. Maybe it’s something that goes on here more often. I don’t know. Lets hope it was a lesson for us and that we learned from it.”

“Personally I think there’s other ways to send warnings. Certainly it should start with [minors] and not hand out [1-minute misconducts like they’re hot cakes, but maybe that’s the way it is here,” added Lambert. “At the end of the day, we need to learn from it.”

“If I was a fan, I’d like to see Leon Draisaitl and [Marc-Olivier Roy] and so on and so forth. I don’t see Sidney Crosby getting tens like that at the NHL level when he gets upset and chirps somebody.”

While it’s not surprising to see fines handed out for criticizing the officials, normally those come after speaking to the media.  In this case, it appears that the comments were made in private to CHL Hockey Ops. It seems the organization is standing behind its officials and trying to send a message by publicly issuing this fine. 

Referees for the game were Jonathan Alari and Mike Cairns. Linesmen were Sylvain Losier and Nicolas Piche.