McDavid’s Agent Says Referees Need Instructions on What a Trip Is

It is getting out of hand with all the non-calls on superstars just because they have the talent and speed to draw more penalties. There shouldn’t be a different standard for different players. Other leagues protect their superstars and even have added rules to keep them healthy and playing the game.

The NHL has gone about this a different way. Since the game has much fewer points scored per game, one penalty or call against a team can change the whole complexion of the game. The game has gotten to a point where it’s the fastest we’ve ever seen. If players can’t keep up, they do whatever they can to slow the opposition down and end up taking penalties.

If the NHL wants to go backwards to a time when hooking and holding were a normal occurrence and didn’t get called, then we have nothing to talk about, and the gap in skill that separates elite talent and regular NHL players would be almost eliminated.

Officiating Needs to Stay Consistent Throughout the NHL

During the Edmonton Oilers‘ game against the Boston Bruins on Thursday, Nov. 11, Connor McDavid was doing what he normally does and flying around, creating scoring opportunities. In this particular instance, when McDavid was rounding the opposing net with the puck, the Bruins defender clearly stuck his stick in between his legs and caused him to fall into the boards.

It’s great news that it wasn’t anything close to when McDavid was seriously injured when he was tripped in the last game of the season by Mark Giordano when he was cutting to the net. Nevertheless, a lot more calls need to be made on the NHL’s stars who take a beating and unfair treatment to even out the game.

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Whether the reason, not only this season but in general, is that it would cause too many penalties and stoppages, that’s not a good argument at all. Rules are in place to be followed, and if each referee judges a call off of how the game is going or how the crowd is reacting, then there needs to be a change in officiating. Penalties are a part of the game, and we’ve seen a crackdown on cross-checking this season. This is something that was already supposed to be a penalty; referees just got lazy and called it much less.

The same goes with “should be” penalties on superstars that referees just don’t call. If a player like McDavid beats the defenders and is then hauled down or illegally stopped in some way, the call should be the same as if it were to any other player. Just because his speed is game-breaking and gives him an advantage doesn’t mean that treatment should be less since it happens so much more often. Teams with superstars should have an advantage.

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It’s almost as if the referees know that this Oilers team has one of the best power plays of all-time, not only this season but the last few, and are trying to limit the chances that they get out there and score. Just because someone that has the skill and speed to draw penalties also happens to be a part of the league’s best power play that converts at an insane rate doesn’t make it right to limit that. It’s both a natural gift and through hard work that these players put opponents in the positions to take penalties on them. The NHL would be wise to tackle this issue immediately and allow for the game’s best to strive and the league to see more goals.

McDavid’s Agent Jeff Jackson Takes to Twitter After Blatant Missed Call

McDavid’s agent wasn’t too happy with once again seeing a missed call on his client that was so blatant. It’s one thing to hear the criticism by fans of the Oilers and of the NHL, but it’s another to start seeing it from figures associated with the game. If the superstars and more influential people start criticizing the lack of calls towards the game’s best players, something may have to be done sooner than later.

Jeff Jackson is correct. It is starting to become a joke. At that point in the game, it was very close, and a power play could’ve changed the tides a lot earlier for the Oilers. Instead, they are left annoyed and wondering why something like that went uncalled. Even if the referees aren’t in a good position, they need to improve or allow for the help of the linesmen. There are technically four officials on the ice for every game to start, so there are no excuses for missing a call like that on a player with the puck.

It’s not the first time McDavid’s agent called out the NHL over poor officiating. It was back at the start of last season when he commented on the treatment of star players. “Great to see NHL hockey back last night. Such amazing athletes & so much speed & skill in the game now. But watching the abuse that star players take is hard to watch. Felt like the 80s with the cross-checks in the back & the hacking & slashing. [The] NFL protects QBs? Why don’t we?”

A change has to be made sooner rather than later to protect and allow these superstars the NHL has to shine even brighter. Either the referees with a certain mindset like Tim Peele have to go, or the current referees need to start calling the games fairly.

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