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NHL to hold session on officiating in August

The primary issues will involve hooking, holding and interference.

May 30, 2012|By Lisa Dillman and Helene Elliott
  • NHL linesman Brian Murphy, left, speaks with referee Stephen Walkom during a playoff game between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators in April.
NHL linesman Brian Murphy, left, speaks with referee Stephen Walkom during… (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images )

NEWARK, N.J. — The NHL responded to concerns about the standard of officiating by announcing it would hold an August session in Toronto, addressing and clarifying those issues. It will take the place of the summer research and development meetings.

Primary issues of concern are hooking, holding and interference.

"We had some questions about the standard back in March, where has it gone," NHL senior vice president Colin Campbell said after the league's general managers met in the afternoon in Manhattan, N.Y. "We've been watching it and asked teams to send in things. ... About 85% of their concern was interference on the forecheck."

Also, one rule recommendation from the NHL's hockey operations involved the introduction of a penalty to be applied only during the playoffs and restricted to that specific round. It would be assessed only in the final 10 minutes of the third period, and could carry over to the beginning of the next game.

But the proposal will not be enacted next season, as the general managers said they need more time to evaluate it. Kings President and General Manager Dean Lombardi said he liked the rule potential in terms of the "deterrent effect" but was not as sure about the penalty carrying over.

Meanwhile, Campbell also said that he interviewed Phoenix Coyotes players Mike Smith, Shane Doan, Keith Yandle and Martin Hanzal about their statements and actions after Game 5 against the Kings. Doan and Yandle had lashed out about the officiating following the game, and Hanzal and the goalie Smith were asked about their actions toward the officials on the ice.

There will be no supplemental discipline or fines, Campbell said, adding. "They were all remorseful."

No sale

Tim Leiweke, chief executive of the Kings' parent company, AEG, denied a report in Wednesday's editions of the New York Post that said he has been seeking a buyer or investor for the Kings.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman concurred, saying: "The story's not true."

About four years ago, AEG discussed selling a part interest in the club to Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, but nothing came of those discussions.

Jersey boys

For all those who were pining for Rangers versus Kings in the Final … Devils forward Patrik Elias has a message for you.

"We beat them," Elias said.

Asked what he would say to those who were anticipating a Rangers-Kings matchup, New Jersey Coach Peter DeBoer said, "tough luck."

Elias has no illusions about which team people preferred to be in the final.

"I have been here long enough long enough to know what people think, what the fans think, and obviously New York has a bigger fan base," Elias said. "They are right in the middle of the biggest town. There, public relations around the team is higher."

Overseas report

Anze Kopitar has created a Kings following in Slovenia.

In an email, Miha Hribar, a resident of Jesenice, Slovenia, wrote, "I can actually confirm the 'Kopi-mania' in Slovenia, especially in Anze's hometown Jesenice. In Hrusica, the part of the town Anze was born, there will even be a big screen set with Kings final games shown. Despite the matches starting at 3 a.m. Slovenian time, around 200 people are expected to come."

On the site for Perpetuum Jazzile, a popular band in Slovenia, a fan left the post, "Are you following the success of Anze Kopitar?"

Band member Saso Vrabic replied, "Oh yeah! He's the King!"

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