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Top 10 NHL Annoyances

Top 10 NHL Annoyances

Let’s have a little bit of fun in bashing the NHL a bit shall we? Do not get me wrong, there is no better sport and I enjoy hockey as much as the next guy but there are some things that should be assessed by Colonel Bettman and his troops in my opinion so let’s take a look at my top 10 and some ridiculous and  NHL issues.

1. NHL Officiating

As we have seen all of last year and even more heightened in the playoffs the officiating is off the wall. Since moving from 1 referee and 2 linesmen to 2 referees and 2 linesman the on ice officials have seemingly gotten worse, they have added instant replay to help these donks out to at least get the goals correct which I have no problem with. The refereeing is so bad now that many hockey fans are stating that there are actual conspiracies against their respective teams and I don’t blame them. Did anyone watch the Vancouver Canucks vs Los Angeles Kings series? I have never seen such dreadful officiating.

I’m not so sure we can blame the referees/linesman as I would assume they are out there clueless and have no idea how to call the game, in on instance they are calling everything and moving on to another period they let them all play and do what they want. Consistency folks, that’s what we are looking for here. Look at baseball, the Umpire will establish his strike zone and more less call that zone for the entire game, if he does not he will get managers/players beaking them face to face drooling slobber all over each other.

It seems the officials like to be the center of attention at times and I would enjoy saying to them “listen boys no matter what you do you will never be the sideshow Bob act that you want to be and will never supersede the players in any way or form so call the game properly” Heck a ref just retired this season after 20 years and I won’t lie in saying I have never heard of the guy before. Does that say something? That’s right, I pay zero attention to the referees and who they are because I do not care.

2. The Shootout

While many will disagree with me on this one I will stand by my thoughts and that is saying the shootout is one of the most ridiculous ways to decide an outcome to a game that I have ever seen. Since when should individual skills after a hard fought 60 minutes of hockey decide positions in standings let alone a playoff spot? Idiotic. Listen, I get it is exciting for some fans seeing this one on one battle between snipers and goaltenders but why not just save this gimmickry for All-Star games which are meant for individual skills rather then team play? How about we give a team that wins a game in regulation or overtime 3 points for a win, if a team loses in the overtime give them 1 point. Have a 10 minute 4 on 4 overtime period or even 5 on 5 for that matter.

Do we see baseball trying to speed the game up by having a home run derby if two teams are tied after nine innings?

Do we see basketball having a 3 point shootout or slam dunk contest to determine a winner after being tied after 4 quarters?

Do we see football having a field goal contest from the 50 yard line after the game is tied?

The answer is no to all of the above. All of the above sports are having no problems keeping fans entertained in their respective sports without using gimmickry tricks such as an NHL shootout to promote fan base and excitement. Drop the shootout.

3. Naming a goaltender a Captain

Are you kidding me? Quiet Lou they call him and they still name him the captain of the team. I think everyone including some Vancouver Canuck fans heckled the Nuck’s brass for deciding this and already they are considering changing captains plus Luongo seems unsure about the status. Once again this was yet another media hype to perhaps bring attention to the Vancouver base and start a media frenzy at that time, and it did. Now the Canucks more then likely want a new captain. Brilliant.

I am sure Luongo leads by example with his work ethic and his lectures for his team but let’s take a look at one item during a game. If the coach wants the captain to go speak to the referee about a call does he scream and say “Roberto, go talk to the referee about that call at the penalty box” Roberto replies, “Alain, I can’t leave my crease nor go past the blueline to speak with them can you get someone else? ”

4. NHL suspension rulings

This subject could be debated on and on forever but once again there is no consistency in decisions made on “suspendable” situations.

If there is a blatant attempt on injuring another player that player doing so should have the book thrown at him regardless if he is a repeat offender or not. Any penalty deemed attempt to injure should have a mandatory 5 game suspension or whatever they decide should be the set amount of games. If the same player keeps doing it over and over again well just write his name down in the little black book and if he keeps on doing it suspend him for the year or from the NHL entirely. Headhunters do not have a place in today’s game.

5. Icing

They complain about injuries to players yet they keep touch icing in the game. How many times have we seen players get injured when chasing down a puck after it was iced by the opposite team and then getting smashed into oblivion from an opposing player trying to beat the defender to the puck? Sometimes it’s intentional such as the Ovechkin hit on Campbell or the Wisniewski hit on Seabrook and sometimes it’s not. ( my apologies as I know both are against Hawk players but those were the first to come to mind) Take the touch icing out and just blow the play down immediately when it is iced.

6. Restricted zones for goaltenders

The NHL implemented this to induce forechecking and more scoring chances but it is still ridiculous. I think it was just something to take out great puck handlers like Martin Brodeur or Marty Turco and perhaps protect their priceless goaltenders from being crushed. If the goaltender decides to play the puck that is his prerogative and knows he may be hit, they should be fair game and heck they are mostly all big goaltenders with and additional 100 pounds or so of equipment on. It’s no different then a defenseman coming around the boards and attempting to play a puck and an opposing player going to hit that player. Take out those ridiculous little chunks of ice that are restricted for goaltenders to touch a puck in, it’s ridiculous.

7. Composite sticks

OK so these sticks are fantastic, lightweight and give you superior shot speed right? Al Iafrate had the slap shot record for 16 years until recently that record was broken by Zdeno Chara. Iafrate was 6’3″ and 190lbs. Chara is 6’9″ 260lbs. See what I am getting at? It all comes down if you can shoot the puck or not, sure the composite sticks may have more flex or what have you but come on now, how many times have we seen one of those sticks break if  the player just attempts a lightweight pass? Either the manufacturers of these sticks figure out how to make these sticks more competent or go back to the good old wooden Sher-Wood sticks etc. These composite sticks break with a gentle tap from an opposing player and now it’s a penalty if the stick breaks! Dumb.

8. Playoff  Seedings

How about the NHL go back to the top 8 teams at the end of the year in each conference to actually decide who deserves to be in the playoffs. Having a team win a division automatically gives them one of the top 3 spots in the conference, well let’s say that specific team wins the division with an under par winning percentage or even a low total point amount. OK so it is highly unlikely but not out of the realm of possibility. Why do we have divisions anyways? For the rivalry’s? Rivalry’s go year to year because they sputter out when one of the rivalry teams goes into rebuilding mode etc. Now you see more cross country rivals such as Chicago and Vancouver and less of Edmonton and Calgary. Get rid of divisions and just go to conferences, top 8 teams make the playoffs and all final standings and positions are just deserved.

9. Game Scheduling

Not much to say about this one but it is annoying, the NHL claims it is a big deal for teams for example Edmonton and Pittsburgh only meeting once a year because of traveling issues and how long it takes. Come on NHL you send teams over to Europe for crying out loud to start the season and you say travel is a big issue?

10. Puck over the Glass Penalty

Not going to elaborate on this one to much but how about we let the 4 on ice officials decide if it was an intentional clearing of the puck over the boards or not. Yes I know it is asking a lot from our “highly qualified” referees but in some instances it is not intentional and should not be deemed a 2 minute minor.

Any thoughts or arguments on the above issues? They are of course very debatable issues but some of these should really be addressed in some sort of manner. Especially the gimmickry! If you have any issues that you would like to be heard about please use the comment box below or email directly at TkonHockey@Gmail.com

Thanks as always,


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An all around sports fan and has been a Chicago BlackHawks supporter longer then he can remember. Currently writes for Prosportsblogging.com on the Blackhawks and NHLHotstove.com on the Edmonton Oilers. (If you would like to email feel free to contact Trent at TKONHOCKEY@gmail.com )

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In response to “Top 10 NHL Annoyances”

  1. terryneo1 Jun 18 20104:51 pm


    Although I find the shootout entertaining for the regular season, I understand the outcry for deciding games based on a one-one after 65 minutes of team competition. However, that is not the biggest problem with the current system. I like that the losing team in the shootout still gets 1 point as a consolation, since it’s accepted that losing this way isn’t the same as a regulation or overttime loss. But awarding 1 point for losing in overtime is absolutely ridiculous! Just because a team made into overtime should not be reason for rewarding them with a point.

    1. Trent Kondo Jun 18 20105:19 pm


      I can see how you like the team getting 1 pt in the shootout because it is a consolation for losing to an individual battle after a 65 minute effort by the entire team like you say. I can agree with that.

      I am torn between a rock and a hard place on the point for losing in OT. If it stays like that why not give the winning team 3 pts then rather then 2 if they are going to keep the loser obtaining a pt after a OT loss.

      Point well taken Terry and thanks for the comment!

  2. terryneo1 Jun 18 20105:33 pm


    If they go to a system where you get three points for a regulation or overtime win, then maybe a shootout win should be just two points. One point to the shootout loser and no points to the regulation or overtime loser. This system places the most emphasis and greatest reward on winning in a non-shootout setting.

    1. Trent Kondo Jun 18 20105:52 pm


      I don’t mind that if the shootout has to stay which unfortunately it will be. Not a bad idea at all.

    2. Dan Rakusan Jun 18 20106:05 pm


      Three points for regulation win, two for a win in OT, and one point for a win in shootout, loser never gets a point. That’s my proposal…

      1. Trent Kondo Jun 18 20106:23 pm


        I’m OK with that too, sure will make teams play one heck of a lot hard you would think. Might take that mind frame of “meh, if we lose we still get a point for the standings so we are not hurting so bad”

        It would also separate mediocre teams from sticking close in the standings as well. Great idea.

        1. MTH Jun 18 20108:32 pm


          This is actually wrong. The teams get more into a not lose mode in SEL which means a lot of lost points for both teams since no penalties and for the 2nd league in Sweden there still is a lot of penalty decisions.

          THIS IS NOT THE WAY NHL SHOULD GO IMO. why fix something thats not broken?

          NHL regular season is perfect as it is. Thats my opinion.
          grrr gets angry of even the notion.


          1. Dan Rakusan Jun 18 20109:23 pm

            No offence, but the SEL isn’t even close to the NHL, and with the money on the line in the NHL, I believe you’d actually see more teams trying to close out wins in regulation.

            If you’re assured a point by losing in OT or in a shootout, you have nothing to gain and nothing to lose. I actually don’t mind the current setup, but if you’re a team on the outside of the playoffs, you’re going to try to get the full 3 points, and play hard even in OT or shootouts. Mainly, you’ll see much more energy in regular time.

          2. MTH Jun 19 20106:12 am

            Off course SEL is lightyears off NHL. But thats because NHL sucks all the talent out of SEL, so not strange and quite pointless to mention.

            I dont believe you are right with the hyperbolic that all fringe PO teams will play harder for points in regular time. There are so many factors which play in, e.g confidence in the group, mindset from the get go, the team philosophy etc. and the will of a team to get points will not change IMO. If so the team should make an overhaul of players.

            On the other hands a change of this sort could change the team philosophy e.g. a defense first team might change coaches to become an offense first team. This I can give you but I am not sure this will not happen anyways without changing the pointsystem.

            IMO You cannot just change the pointsystem and believe that there will be more offense and more will to win a game in regular time rather than OT.


          3. MTH Jun 19 20106:23 am

            If there should be a pointsystem change. I could see a draw (1p each) after 20 extra minutes or winner rewarded by 1p extra and no penalties. The audience get 20 extra min, insted of just 5, of a (hopefully) good and intense game, while noone made the extra effort to score. Since most OTs finish within the first 10 min, the 20 min should just cover and secure an OT win and extra point. If not then no team earned it. This I could see could promote an extra effort to win in OT. But thats a maybe.

    3. MTH Jun 18 20107:55 pm


      This is not good. Swedish SEL have used this systm and the second league in Sweden uses this system and its worthless. There are to much points and there is to much up and downs. NOT FUN AT ALL. Why destroy a good product in NHL to become a lesser product which the SEL has become since changing to the three point rule?

  3. Trent Kondo Jun 18 20105:53 pm



    No kidding! Funny, my company does a lot of work for BP too haha.

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