Ovechkin accuses league/officials of fixing games

Posted: 05/14/2013 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

This blog has taken issue with the quality of officiating in the NHL during the season and in the playoffs. The officiating has been described here as biased and one-sided. We pointed to the official league policy of “opening the game up” as evidence of an institutionalized bias to promote the skill teams at the expense of the more physical teams. Additionally, we included descriptions of specific referee instructions given to teams prior to playoff games.

This blog has always stopped short of accusing the NHL or anyone involved of being part of a criminal conspiracy.

In an interview with a Russian newspaper, Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin took it up another notch.

“I am not saying there was a phone call from (the league), but someone just wanted Game 7,” he told the paper.

“For the ratings. You know, the lockout, escrow, the league needs to make profit. I don’t know whether the refs were predisposed against us or the league. But to not give obvious penalties (against the Capitals), while for us any little thing was immediately penalized.”

The Caps had 16 power plays compared to the Rangers 28 during the seven game series.

Ovechkin will probably receive a hefty fine for the implied accusation.

This blog hopes the NHL takes Ovie’s complaint seriously and works to improve  on ice officiating.

Note: Ovechkin’s quotes were copied and pasted from this story published by tsn.ca.

  1. bbdux93 says:

    When exactly – did the NHL take away the right of free speech? When did they rise above the laws of our land? Last time I checked, in this country – whether we agree with what is said or not – free speech is still the right of every one here…. To deny any person their right to freely and without fear of reprisal express themself, will ultimately infringe on everyone’s rights. To impose a fine is obviously intended to thwart that right. Allowing this to continue – is wrong.

    • bc says:

      Going off topic, but I’m passionate about this issue:

      Our first amendment right to free speech doesn’t extend to the workplace. There is a steady body of law, recently from Garcetti, which has been cited 2660 times since it was decided in 2006. In a nutshell, in Garcetti the Court decided that statements made by public employees in the course of exercising their official duties is not speech protected under the first amendment.

      Courts have consistently applied this standard in the private sector.

      Frankly, I was surprised Coach Boudreau wasn’t fined for some of the statements he made about the quality of officiating during the recent Ducks/Red Wings series. That he wasn’t might indicate the league has loosened it’s policy a bit.

      Ovechkin implied and I correctly inferred that the league is fixing games and series. That is way over the line and I’ve no doubt he will be sanctioned.

      If the question is should Ovechkin be sanctioned, I think not. NHL officiating has deteriorated to the point that people are wondering if the games/series are fixed. When blatant fouls, witnessed by virtually everyone in attendance and the television audience are missed by the four on-ice officials, fans and player concerns are justified.

  2. yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

    Looking forward to what becomes of this…probably status quo…

    • bc says:

      Caps GM George McPhee said he didn’t think there was a conspiracy. So far I haven’t heard anything out of the NHL on Ovie’s comments. Kinda surprising.

      • yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

        Textbook GM response (it is a business after all)…they are probably hoping it goes away.

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