Even as many fans seem to be enjoying the increased offensive play in the "new NHL", veteran Red Wing great Steve Yzerman is far from impressed. He made his displeasure known in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. Stevie Y
believes that referees should use better judgment when calling penalties. "Everybody keeps saying this is great. It's not great," Yzerman told the Free Press. "It's not hockey. Good referees used to have good judgment. Now they've taken that out of the game. I'm not saying I'm blaming the referees for it, I just feel the whole thing has to be adjusted and they have to look at this seriously. They can't continue to call irrelevant things that have no business being called."
There are probably two ways of looking at this. One, maybe not all the referees are quite up to par. Have they been able to adapt to the new rules (or calling what was always on the books) or should referees be given time to gain experience in the minors? Secondly, what reponsibilities do NHL players have in how the game is played? It is no small secret that the number of dives have shot up as players try to draw penalties. The NHL has warned over 40 players for diving and even fined LA King Sean Avery for a second diving offense. The referees are often reacting to what is happenning on the ice and they cannot read the players mind to determine if they dove or were interferred with. At the end of the day, both the referees and the players have to adapt to this "new NHL" and hopefully the league won't go back to its previous ways.