FanPost + Tickets!


    It’s been a bit of a tough week with a pair of losses to the New York teams, but that’s over and done with. It’s Saturday night and there’s just something about these games that the Maple Leaf players just seem to get up for. To get you into the hockey mood ahead of tonight’s matchup against the Flyers, we’ve got a FanPost from reader Chuck Johnson, who provides his two cents on the state of refereeing in today’s NHL. If you’d like to submit a FanPost of your own, send it to me at

    Also, I had originally bought tickets to next Saturday night’s home game against the Rangers, but have since been invited to better seats by some friends. As such, I will be putting up my purples up for sale at cost on a first come first serve basis. If interested, contact me via the email listed above.

    Referee Realities
    By: Chuck Johnson

    “WHERE’S THE F****** CALL REF?!”….

    Sound familiar, Leafs Nation? That is probably because you, and your rowdy group of friends, were screaming this at the TV multiple times when the Leafs hosted the Islanders on Monday night! In reality, yelling at the screen probably won’t help, but it just seems like the right thing to do at the time…

    How on earth could that monster in black and white screw us on a call again? Does he just enjoy inflicting pain on the blue and white die-hards, or is he getting paid off? Something must be going on since we get the short end of the stick on every call, right?

    As much as we would like to believe that is the case, it’s probably not. The fact is that every team has calls against them that they aren’t happy with. I watch a lot of games that don’t feature the Leafs, and still I am amazed at some of the calls. Just as players make errors while playing the game, referees make mistakes, and sometimes they know it. No matter what the call is, fans are going to get on him, so they get used to hearing everything is a bad call from the home crowd. It is a fast game and there’s not much time to assess the call. Just because a call might look awful, it doesn’t mean the ref has a personal vendetta for the team or a player, but that it was a human error.

    Don’t get me wrong, I used to referee hockey when I was younger and knew of referee’s that had it out for certain guys… but these were also the same refs that drank beer in between periods. One referee I did a game with actually had a book of players numbers and where they were from, so he could get pay back for the lip service they paid him. This is the difference between professional referees and minor hockey referees, it all comes down to professionalism.

    I truly believe refs in the NHL want to get the call right. With the amount of cameras and different angles showing the games today, referee’s are really on the spot to make the right call. As they are professionals, they want to do their job to the best of their abilities. As humans, we are not able to be perfect, so it’s something we must live with, or implement a system that works. What kind of system works though? It was brought up during intermission during the Leafs and Rangers game about on ice reviews for hits to the head. Reviews would start to come up every game since they want to get it right, but at what cost? Whenever a goal review goes too long, the crowd gets antsy and starts to boo. Nobody wants to wait around for a review to see if a hit was clean.

    Should referees be open to interviews after the game for explanation? That doesn’t seem like a logical step for me. What is he going to say? “I didn’t see the play” or “I didn’t
    think it was enough for a call”? This isn’t going to solve anything and I doubt the referees would be a big fan of it. Some feel that for the money these guys make ($140,000 average), that they should be paying some sort of due for the poor calls. I don’t see this as being a constructive idea either, since it will deter future refs from wanting to join the
    league and would disgruntle the current ones.

    Every scenario I think of to make a change has too much downside. Hockey is all about split second decisions, and it’s no different for referees. Mistakes happen, and that elevates the drama and suspense of a game. Not to mention, blaming the referee helps us all sleep a little better since it wasn’t the teams fault that they didn’t pull through, right? I say leave out referee discipline and reviews. In a world where machines are slowly take over, do we want to hand another job to a machine anyway? This could be just another
    step in a robot apocalypse!

    Well, I’m losing focus… what do you think should be done about refereeing in the NHL?

    Change or it let it be?