Should Hockey Officials Be Subject to Game Performance Reviews?

Earlier this week coach of the New York Rangers, John Tortorella was fined $30,000 by the NHL for comments he made about the officiating in the Winter Classic hockey game between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers.  Now don’t get me wrong as I don’t condone the comments made by the Rangers bench boss which included:

“Maybe they wanted to get into overtime. I’m not sure if they had meetings about that or what. But we stood in there. I don’t want to … because they are good guys. I just thought it was, in that third period, it was disgusting.”

It is not the first time that Tortorella has had words about the officiating.  Quite honestly as a hockey fan in recent years I have noticed that there has been a number of questionable calls more often.  I realize that being a referee or official is a difficult job as I was one for a couple of years, but the officiating has seemed to deteriorated in recent years in a number of sports.  Has anyone else noticed:

  • an increase in “phantom” penalty calls
  • an increase in even up calls
  • discrepancy in the calls being made in regular season games vs. playoff games
  • simply missed calls
  • certain teams appearing to get preferential treatment
  • other teams who get a little too many penalty calls

Should Hockey Officials Be Subject to Game Performance Reviews?

I understand that the game is faster but in many cases there are now four officials on the ice.  There are off-ice officials as well.  So why then does it appear that so many calls are being missed or are questionable?  It begs to question whether hockey officials should be subject to game performance reviews?  It might not be a bad idea for the following reasons:

  1. The game is faster and the officials need to be aware of increasing undisciplined trends.
  2. The players are bigger and faster and have less respect for each other.
  3. Serious injuries are on the rise – Hockey is the greatest game on the planet, but it is a contact sport and violence has appeared to increase over recent years.  In order to avoid any future serious injuries or even death, the officials need to be on their game each and every time that they step on the ice.

I enjoy watching hockey at all levels, I don’t enjoy when the officials run the show with a steady parade of questionable penalty calls.  As a player I respect the officials especially when they make calls that prevent injuries from occurring or from letting a game get out of hand.  It is a tough job no question.  Players, coaches, managers and fans will always critique officials but the question is should they be allowed to or should the officiating not be subject to this type of feedback?  What do you think?  They do participate in performance reviews, but should the frequency be increased?