Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Is the NHL rigged in favor of your team or against it? A 32-team investigation.

Admit it: You think the NHL is rigged against your team.

The referees. The head office. The department of player safety. The schedule-maker and the TV guys and the union and the arbitrators and even the marketing department. You know for a fact that at least a few of them, and maybe each and every one of them, are working to hold your team back. I mean, the evidence is clear.

Or is it? What would an independent, impartial observer think? That’s where I come in. Today, I’m going to go through all 32 teams and try to figure out which ones have a case about everyone being out to get them.

There’so one important ground rule here: The league is either rigged in favor of your team or against it. There’s no middle ground. What, you think we’re going to decide that your team’s success or failure is completely attributed to their own decisions and actions, with nobody to blame but themselves? Nonsense. That’s not how sports works, and every fan knows it. Every team is the subject of a grand conspiracy, it’s just a question of whether that’s helping them or hurting them. That’s what we’ll be deciding today.

The league is rigged! But is it rigged for you, or against you? Let’s find out.

Nashville Predators
Other teams whine about how the referees are out to get them. The Predators have video evidence, and remain the only team in modern history to have a referee fired for picking on them.

Verdict: League rigged against you

Columbus Blue Jackets
Hey quick question, how long is regulation time in an NHL game? If you said 60 minutes, you’re a fan of one of the other teams. If you said “however long it takes to make sure the Blue Jackets lose”, then you know what coulombs are.

Verdict: League rigged against you

Los Angeles Kings
Who criticizes the NHL’s officiating? Literally everyone. Who gets fined for it, not to mention forced into a groveling public apology? Pretty much only the Kings. I guess they should have done something more sportsmanlike, like sneak into the opponent’s equipment room to measure their sticks.

Verdict: League rigged against you

Montreal Canadiens
Lots of teams have had questionable calls against them. Only one has had the league president suspend its best and most iconic player for an entire postseason and then insist on showing up to thumb his nose at the fans in person.

Verdict: League rigged against you

Vancouver Canucks
Two words: Cap recapture. Eighteen more words: The NHL made up a dumb rule and then didn’t bother enforcing it on anyone except the Canucks. Gosh, I wonder why. Maybe the league will explain it to us, but do it three hours early just in case anyone from Toronto wants to watch.

Verdict: League rigged against you

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

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