May 23, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
I appreciate Dan Lett's attempt to try to help keep hockey in perspective for the fans (Rules matter, people, Feb. 23). We have far too many parents in this province who seem to think their son is headed to the NHL and the referees are standing in his way.
But as someone who has played hockey for more than two-thirds of his life in various Winnipeg minor, high school and rec leagues, I have many times felt the pain of frustrated parents and players.
At every level in which I have played, the officiating has had serious problems. Refs seem to have no idea what does and does not constitute a penalty and make calls with wild inconsistency. There are some refs who put in an honest effort every game, who keep the game balanced and who know what is and is not a penalty. Yet for every one of those, there is some kid who is just there to get his $30 and leave, never mind actually doing his job.
Playing at the MTS Iceplex, I've seen a lot of the latter sort lately. I realize refs have a tough job, but there are still standards that need to be maintained. More information on what is actually a penalty for everyone involved would certainly help, but so would some tougher sanctions on refs who haven't got a clue what they're doing.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 2, 2013 A17