Friday, September 17, 2010

NHL referees and linesmen head to the bargaining table

Everybody click that ad over there,
baby DGB needs a new pair of shoes.
There's plenty of concern these days about an impending work stoppage in the NHL. From the hiring of potential hard-liner Donald Fehr as NHLPA head to the bitter fight over Ilya Kovalchuk's contract, there's good reason to believe that players may be headed to the picket line in time for the 2012-13 season.

But there's more labour strife on the horizon, and this time it comes with a much closer timeframe. The NHL's referees and linesmen have been without a contract since August 31, and while negotiations on a new CBA are ongoing there are reports that the league is in the early stages of contacting potential replacement officials.

What's behind the stalemate? Sources tell me that while money is a focus, it's only part of the discussion. As it turns out, NHL referees and linesman have a long list of issues they'd like to see addressed in a new agreement.

My spies have supplied me with some of the officials' demands:
  • When we agreed to the clause in the last CBA about always giving 110%, we didn't realize it was referring to our escrow payments.

  • We're willing to accept the league's demand that we no longer publicly vow to target Canucks winger Alex Burrows with bogus penalty calls, as long as everyone agrees that we can still secretly vow to target Canucks winger Alex Burrows with bogus penalty calls.

  • We don't want to seem like spoilsports, but we're really not big fans of that "everyone in attendance wins one free slice of pizza if the referee takes a puck in the throat" promotion.

  • Every time anyone calls a penalty against Tomas Kaberle, they get an angry phone call from his father.

  • We're getting a little tired of ignorant coaches calling us blind, when in fact many of our members don't meet the technical standards for legal blindness in several states and provinces.

  • Let's just say that it's not exactly fun breaking up fights between Colton Orr and Matt Carkner knowing that one linesman is inevitably about to get 230 lbs of dead weight dropped on top of him.

  • We just want the same thing any other union gets: Time-and-a-half for working overtime.

  • Whenever we skate onto the ice we can't tell if the fans are saying "boo" or "I hope somebody boo-urns your house down you soulless cretin", although now that we see it written down like that it probably doesn't matter very much.

  • We find this whole "mandatory penalty for high-sticking" thing way too restrictive, and would prefer to go back to it being optional like during the 1993 playoffs.

  • Hey, just a thought, but maybe when the league feels like taking a break from buying high-def TVs for the video review war room they could invest a few dollars so that we don't have to call them on a phone with a twisty cord from 1983.

  • If we're being completely honest, not a single one of us knows what that trapezoid thing behind the net is supposed to accomplish.

  • Now that Brian Gionta is apparently going to be named captain of the Canadiens, it's going to be murder on our knees having to kneel down every time he wants to discuss a call.

  • Look, we know the media has a job to do, but it would be nice to be able to work just one game without Ines Sainz throwing herself at us afterwards.

  • While we understand that the mascot with the hot dog gun is popular with fans, that still doesn't explain why he gets to kick in the door to our dressing room and fire off multiple rounds at point-blank range during every intermission.

  • It's been years since any coach was kind enough to offer us a donut.


  1. Tomas Kaberle's father for you on line two . . .

  2. So I clicked the link cause the ref told me to, and I'm ok with that.

  3. Now, now, they totally deserve a collective raise now that Fraser has retired. The average skill level of an NHL referee went up by about 2000% on that fateful day.

  4. Gionta line... Gold Jerry, GOLD!

  5. If this was Youtube i'd say something like:
    Thumbs up if you hit the ad!

  6. Bahaha @ Gionta line

  7. Clicked the ad ten times for your baby.

  8. Haha loved the Kaberle and Inez Sainz lines. Will help buy baby DGB new shoes.

  9. Goodness gracious...I almost died of laughter on this one. The Burrows one was perfect.

  10. hey guys...wasn't sure if anyone had heard or not and didn't know where else to put this...some terrible news...pat burns died today

  11. We're all a bunch of sheep (I clicked the ad too; but only for your baby's sake).

    Btw, I believe I mentioned that you're giving me an ulcer by talking about player strikes. Clearly you're cold-hearted, or you own stock in Mylanta. Either way, stop it! :)

  12. Pat Burns is still alive. Not sure how those rumours went out. Either that or his ghost sounds pretty good on TSN.
    Well done DGB, can't wait for you to actually have real material to work with in a few weeks!

  13. •It's been years since any coach was kind enough to offer us a donut

    Saved the ebst for last, and the downside to open concept offices, is that my department manager heard me from across the room.

  14. wait, what?
    no demands for special handicapped parking and complementary snausages and perrie water for their seeing-eye-dogs?

    no demands that all nhl sticks be painted white and that the blades be taped only with bright red tape?

    hmmm.. maybe the officials need donny f. more that the nhlpa does...

    - cheers... david

  15. Haha love the last line... we need more Jim Schoenfeld tirades nowadays.

  16. I was hoping for some Mustache related humor/hatred for McCreary.

  17. No love for the twisty phone cord? I just laughed out loud in the middle of class from that one, it's so true! Everytime I see a play going to review I wonder where in god's name they found a phone that old.

  18. Hey,DGB, Ines Sainz's attorney is waiting to speak to you now. ;)

  19. laughed in the middle of class.

    Boy, hopes it wasn't MY class

    /feels old

  20. In all fairness, they use Seinheisser headsets now (well, in most arenas). Now the off-ice official, he still uses a twisty cord phone.