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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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Oilers Rookie Notebook: Dylan Holloway’s wrist injury a tough blow – Sportsnet.ca

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EDMONTON — The first blow came even before Edmonton Oilers rookie camp had opened, with prized prospect Dylan Holloway going under the knife Tuesday to repair a broken scaphoid bone in his left wrist.

What made it even more disappointing was, after busting the bone in the NCAA playoffs with the University of Wisconsin, Holloway had surgery after Wisconsin’s season ended in late March in Chicago that was designed to have him ready to play hockey this fall. But that surgery failed.

Holloway, Edmonton’s first-round pick in 2020 (14th overall) lunched with Holland during a Calgary world junior camp in August, and the Oilers GM didn’t like what he heard.

“He was telling me that he couldn’t shoot, couldn’t take draws. He was getting frustrated,” Holland said. “We were five to six months down the road … and there was very little healing going on. Probably about 30 per cent. The decision was made: nothing was really happening, and we’d need to start the process all over again.”

Holloway is only 19, but can play in the American Hockey League. He was likely destined for Bakersfield this year, which is definitely where he will be assigned when he heals up sometime around the new year.

Hopefully.

No Room At The Inn

The Oilers roster is pretty much set with veterans, with precious few (if any) spots for a youngster to worm his way into the NHL.

But two left shot defencemen who may have the best shot — along with left winger Tyler Benson — are both in town and ready to begin their North American transition in earnest. Dmitri Samorukov and Philip Broberg are at the Rookie Camp prep’ing for main camp, where it isn’t a total reach that one might be able to stick around.

“They’re both going to be in North America,” said Holland, who had good news when doctors cleared Samorukov for full contact after a January shoulder injury suffered in Moscow. “He was playing very well in the KHL, but hasn’t played hockey since January. Two years of pro — one in Bakersfield, one in (the KHL) — and I’m also excited to see where Broberg is at, like everybody else.

“Do they force their way onto the Edmonton Oilers roster? Or do they have to go down to the American League and continue their development into NHL defencemen? That’s what we’re trying to find out, but they are both here (in North America) to stay.”

Samorukov, 22, played a season in Bakersfield then went home to CSKA Moscow last year, the club where he was raised as a player. Broberg, 20, spent two developmental seasons in Sweden’s top league with Skelleftea, while limping through the 2021 World Junior here in Edmonton.

“I had a knee injury and a shoulder injury at the World Juniors. It was difficult,” said the defenceman, who played through the pain. “It is an honour to play for your country, especially at the World Juniors.”

Broberg said he was about “80 percent” when he returned to Skelleftea, and by season’s end, his minutes were down. Samorukov injured his shoulder in a January battle drill during practice and lost the back half of his KHL season, but says the last two seasons have him ready to challenge for a spot on an NHL blue line.

“When I first came to the AHL two years ago, it was really good for me. Learning how to be a pro player,” he said. “Then, the season in the KHL, I established myself as a pro player. Now, we’re trying to knock in the door. To do our best.”

Remember, Samorukov first came over as a 17-year-old to play three junior seasons for the Guelph Storm. He had 45 points in 59 games in his 19-year-old season and then nicely quarterbacked the Russian powerplay at the World Juniors in Vancouver-Victoria. But the 197-pounmder has settled on a less offensive game as a pro.

“Of course when you come from junior you have a lot of points. You think you might be something special,” he smiled. “Then you realize you have some guys who can really get points. (You learn) what kind of game you have to play. I know who I am right now.”

Samorukov was part of the ask by Arizona when they were peddling goalie Darcy Kuemper, a package considered too rich by Holland. Now, we’ll begin to get a closer look at the 2017 third-rounder, who moves a nice puck and stands six-foot-three.

“This rookie camp offers him a good chance to get up and running,” said Bakersfield head coach Jay Woodcroft, “so he’s feeling confident heading into main camp next week.”

Tyler’s Time?

Is this finally the year that Tyler Benson cracks the Oilers roster? It had better be — he is waiver eligible now, at age 23 years of age with four pro seasons under his belt.

With left wingers Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Warren Foegele in town, it’s pretty clear that Benson will have to make the club as a fourth-line left-winger and try to move up from there. He’s in against Devin Shore and Brendan Perlini for that 4-LW spot, as a former candidate for exceptional status as a junior now finds himself in a utility role if he wants to get his NHL career off the ground.

“We came up with a plan to develop different areas of his game (in Bakersfield last season),” Woodcroft said. “For example, his board work. Introducing him to the penalty kill. Something he had minimal experience on, but something we felt provided a line of sight or a pathway to … make our parent club.

“Tyler was a point-per-game player last year and played on what I felt was the most dominant line in the Pacific Division of the AHL. He made plays,” his coach said. “The opportunity before him is obvious. He feels like he’s in top shape, mentally ready to go, and he’s excited about that opportunity.”

Edmonton’s recent first-round pick (22nd overall) Xavier Bourgault hit the gym hard this summer, putting on 10 lbs. He comes to camp at six feet tall and 172 pounds, so he has a ways to go.

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Blue Jays optimistic Jose Berrios won’t miss next start after abdominal scare – Sportsnet.ca

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Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios is doing much better after leaving Tuesday’s game with an abdominal injury, manager Charlie Montoyo said Wednesday.

After the Blue Jays’ 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, the team reported that Berrios left the game due to abdominal tightness on his left side and received post-game treatment.

Berrios threw seven innings of one run ball Tuesday, striking out six and allowing only four hits.

“He’s doing fine,” Montoyo said. “He’s doing a lot better than we thought, which is great news. Actually, you might get to see him playing catch in a little bit to see how he’s doing. He did all the tests. Everything looks good.”

The right-handed pitcher who the Blue Jays acquired at the trade deadline is 11-8 on the season, with a 3.43 ERA in 173.1 innings pitched.

The Blue Jays wrap up their series with the Rays on Wednesday at 3:07 p.m. ET/ 12:07 p.m. PT on Sportsnet and SN Now.

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France to open Billie Jean King Cup defence against Canada

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Reigning champions France will kick off this year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Prague against Canada on Nov. 1, with the final scheduled for Nov. 6, the International Tennis Federation said on Wednesday.

Formerly called the Fed Cup, the women’s team competition featuring 12 nations was originally scheduled to be held in Budapest in April last year before being postponed twice due to the pandemic.

France triumphed in the 2019 edition when a team featuring Kristina Mladenovic, Caroline Garcia and Pauline Parmentier defeated Australia.

This year, Belgium, the 2001 winners, will face 2017 runners-up Belarus on the opening day, while eleven-times winners Czech Republic will play on Nov. 1 and Nov. 4.

The competing nations will each play two group-stage ties to determine the winners of the four three-team groups, who will then progress to the semi-finals. Each tie will consist of two singles matches and a doubles match.

Germany, Spain, Slovakia, Australia, the U.S., Russia and Switzerland will be the other nations competing.

 

(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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