Now that Detroit has been screwed by the War Room, the Great Thinkers of the NHL have come to the idea that it may be time to make some changes in the way games are officiated. They’re not talking about rule changes per se, but things like where the officials should position themselves on the ice so that a Great Power does not get screwed again. One of the ideas that has been discussed is to have a referee stand closer to the goal so that he can make better calls.
This sounds great, right? What could be better than having an official hovering around the back of the net so that a whistle can be blown in a timely manner, goals can be called or saves can be posted with more authority. Except there is a huge problem with this “new idea”. A few years ago, we officials were told NOT to stand directly behind the net because we would block out the overhead cameras that are used for video replay.
So what would you rather have, a pair of eyes belonging to a seasoned professional referee making a call, or the camera shot that never lies? I can’t wait until a goal is reviewed but nothing can be concluded because the official is in the way of the camera.
One idea that is never mentioned is to have a video monitor available for the official to see when a goal is being reviewed, like the NFL and NCAA. The official would do a much better review of the play when he sees the play again while he is doing a mental review. But that would require either a larger officials area in the arena and thus fewer seats and revenue for the teams, or a slower process where the official retreats to his dressing room for the video review. You tell me what changes you want, NHL.