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Predators’ Matt Duchene on hot mic incident: ‘You gotta call the game’ – Sportsnet.ca

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NHL referees and the idea of “game management” is in the spotlight following a Tuesday night incident where veteran official Tim Peel was caught on a hot mic as the Nashville Predators broadcast was breaking to commercial.

“It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a (expletive) penalty against Nashville early in the,” the ref was heard saying before it was cut.

The penalty in question was given to Viktor Arvidsson about five minutes into the second period. At the time of the call, the Predators held a 1-0 lead thanks to a first period power play goal. To that point, the Red Wings had been handed one penalty and the Predators none.

That’s when Arvidsson was given a tripping minor on this play:

The Predators killed the penalty and went on to win the game 2-0. Afterwards the NHL said it was reviewing the incident and on Wednesday morning it announced that Peel would no longer be working games for the league. He was due to retire next month after 22 years.

Predators centre Matt Duchene had a front row seat to the incident. Speaking on 102.5 The Game in Nashville Wednesday morning, he shared his opinion on the incident and the idea of even up calls.

“He’s a veteran ref,” Duchene said. “It’s his last year anyway so I think that’s maybe why they let him go rather than maybe suspending him or fining him. The crazy thing is he was talking to Filip Forsberg in that clip and he told our bench that. Really bizarre. I just think that can’t happen.

“Imagine the scenario where they score on that power play, we lose the game and we miss the playoffs by a point? Imagine that scenario. That could happen. That is not out of the realm of possibility. I don’t think there’s a place in hockey for that. You gotta call the game. I’ve always been frustrated when I see even up calls or something like that. If one team is earning power plays you can’t punish them because the other team is not. That call was not a good call on Arvi. We were watching and were like ‘what the heck was that, that wasn’t even close to a penalty.’ It was bizarre. I hope that’s not something that goes on with most officials, but there’s definitely nights when you’re skeptical of it for sure.

The fact is, game management and even up calls aren’t new and shouldn’t be shocking, but hearing a referee discuss it so openly is jarring and leaves us questioning its place in the game. Why should teams that don’t earn penalties be given one to either keep the advantages relatively even, or make up for a missed call earlier in the game? At the end of Tuesday’s game Nashville was given four penalties and Detroit three.

Peel is gone, but even up calls weren’t a one-referee issue. Will, and should, the NHL use this as a watershed moment to consider overhauling its officiating standards?

Leafs Hour

Tim Peel hot mic incident an opportunity for NHL to re-evaluate officiating

March 24 2021

“I could tell you just from the course of my conversations with all kinds of people around hockey, I sense there’s more frustration this year with the refereeing than certainly any other time I’ve encountered in my career,” Chris Johnston said on Sportsnet 590 The FAN Wednesday. “I don’t know if that’s a sign that refereeing itself has gotten worse or maybe the tolerance for what’s accepted is changing or what it is. But I do think that we’re gonna see more pressure put on the league and maybe the league itself is feeling the same way.”

It’s not the first time the league’s officiating standards have been in the spotlight this season either. On opening night, the constant cross-checks by Montreal defencemen to Auston Matthews in front of the net led to a discussion about on-ice abuse of star players and if the league should focus on protecting its top assets better, which was heightened when Matthews’ agent tweeted about his frustration of the standard.

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UEFA threaten to ban breakaway clubs from all competitions

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By Simon Evans

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – European soccer‘s governing body UEFA has warned clubs linked to a breakaway Super League that they face being banned from domestic and international competitions if they set up a rival to the Champions League.

In a joint statement https://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/mediaservices/mediareleases/news/0268-12121411400e-7897186e699a-1000–statement-by-uefa-english-fa-rfef-figc-premier-league-laliga-le with Spanish, English and Italian leagues and federations, UEFA said it will consider “all measures”, including the courts and bans from domestic leagues, in opposition to plans for a breakaway competition.

UEFA said it had learnt that clubs from those countries “may be planning to announce their creation of a closed, so-called Super League”.

“If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we….(and) also FIFA and all our member associations – will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever,” UEFA said.

“We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening. Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way,” the statement added.

In January, FIFA had said that a breakaway league would not be recognised and that “any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by FIFA or their respective confederation” – meaning players would be banned from the World Cup.

Sunday’s UEFA statement said: “The clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.

“We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this. We call on all lovers of football, supporters and politicians, to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced. This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough.”

 

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond and Christian Radnedge)

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Netherlands and Poland seal narrow Billie Jean King Cup playoff wins

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(Reuters) – The Netherlands and Poland both needed deciding doubles wins to battle through their Billie Jean King Cup playoffs on Saturday but Britain, Italy and Canada all enjoyed easier passages.

In Den Bosch, the Dutch were without world number 11 Kiki Bertens for the second day because of injury and found themselves trailing China 2-1 after Wang Xiyu beat Lesley Kerkhove in Saturday’s opening singles.

But Aranxta Rus beat Wang Xinyu to level the tie and then teamed up with Demi Schuurs to defeat Zhang Shuai and Zu Yifan to send the hosts through.

It was equally tight in Poland where the hosts were pushed to the brink by Brazil.

Brazil’s Carolina Meligeni Alves took the tie into a deciding doubles with a win over Katarzyna Kawa but the Poles prevailed 3-2 as Kawa and Magdalena Frech came back from a set down to beat Meligeni Alves and Luisa Stefani.

Kazakhstan also won a deciding rubber to see off Argentina.

Britain led 2-0 overnight against Mexico in London but Marcela Zacarias beat Heather Watson to keep alive the tie.

Katie Boulter proved too strong for Giuliana Olmos though to clinch the tie for the hosts.

Italy beat Romania 3-1 while Canada‘s teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez sealed her country’s path as she gave her side an unassailable 3-0 lead over Serbia thanks to a three-set win over Nina Stojanovic.

Ukraine eased past Japan 4-0 while Anastasija Sevastova secured Latvia’s 3-1 victory over India.

The eight winners move forward to next year’s qualifying round where they will hope to reach the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

The old Fed Cup was re-branded last year and named after the American great and 12-times Grand Slam singles champion who won the inaugural tournament nearly 60 years ago.

This year’s 12-team Finals were postponed because of the pandemic and a new date has yet to be finalised.

 

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon)

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Motor racing-Canadian Grand Prix cancelled for second year

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(Reuters) -The Canadian Grand Prix scheduled for June 13 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal has been cancelled for the second year in a row, CBC Radio reported on Thursday although Formula One said discussions remained ongoing.

With the spread of new COVID-19 variants and Canada battling to contain a third wave of the virus, Montreal public health authorities concluded that even if run behind closed doors without spectators the risks were too high, reported the CBC.

F1 officials, according to the CBC, wanted to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine for the hundreds of staff, crew members and drivers and rely on private medical staff and have the entire operation run in a bubble.

The race is scheduled to follow on immediately from Azerbaijan, whose grand prix is scheduled for June 6 in Baku and is due to go ahead after also being cancelled last year.

“We are continuing our discussions with the promoter in Canada and have no further comment,” an F1 spokesperson told Reuters.

The Autosport website quoted a spokesperson for the Canadian promoter as saying the radio report referred to “a document of recommendations from public health.

“We as an organisation have not had confirmation from our public health officials and won’t comment until we get an official confirmation.”

Canada, with some of the world’s toughest travel rules, obliges its citizens and residents arriving from abroad to self-isolate for 14 days.

International arrivals are required to quarantine for up to three days in a hotel.

One of Canada‘s biggest sporting events, it would mark the second consecutive year the grand prix has been removed from the F1 schedule due to the spread of COVID-19.

Media reports have suggested Turkey is on standby to be slotted in as Canada‘s replacement.

The Istanbul circuit is logistically convenient for freight coming from Baku and was brought in last year also at short notice to bolster a calendar ravaged by the pandemic.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto/Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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