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NHL Fans & conspiracy theories


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#21 NC WINGS FAN

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 04:11 AM

I've been thinking about this throughout this year's playoffs. I have always dismissed the conspiracy theorists around here as just being tin foil hat nutjobs, but I don't think that they are completely off-base.

Let me say first and foremost that I do not believe that there is a blatant conspiracy or intent by the league to selectively eliminate certain teams from the playoffs, or help other teams to get deeper in than they normally would.

What I do believe is that Gary Bettman, and I assume those under him, places a strong emphasis on the expansion and extension of the league into new markets as well as an increase in popularity in already-established markets. Everything that he does is to this end. I have no doubt that people in the upper echelons of the NHL casually discuss how it will help the league for Sidney Crosby to win cups (being the next Wayne Gretzky and all) to help with universal league appeal, and how it will help the league for small and non-traditional market teams to achieve success in the post season. That's why the salary cap was such a sticking point in the negotiations that culminated in the league losing a season due to a lockout. Bettman would rather not play an entire season of hockey than allow the league to continue with no salary cap, because that's how important league parity is to him. Parity means that small market teams will start to experience more success. (Ironic that the last team to hoist the Cup before the lockout was Tampa.)

I think that it is an attitude that pervades the league's offices, not some sort of unwritten policy. I don't think that Bettman or Colin Campbell calls up Terry Gregson and tells him that his officials need to make sure that the Sharks beat the Wings or that the Penguins win the Stanley Cup. I have little doubt that people in the league feel that the Wings going deep into the playoffs every year is detrimental to the NHL because it is keeping other teams out, thereby preventing the growth of those teams' fan bases. Again, no one tells anyone that the Wings need to get jobbed, but I think that there is a pervasive attitude in the league that leads to negative feelings towards Detroit.

Ultimately, I think that the League's front office places more emphasis on marketing and monetary expansion through the development of under-performing markets and lucrative television contracts (that really have yet to materialize) than they do on officiating and making sure that games are run properly. It's possible that young refs aren't as experienced as they should be or aren't trained as much as they should be. Not because the league is purposefully trying to screw over certain teams, but because their priorities are elsewhere. Instead of worrying about putting out a quality product that will appeal first and foremost to hockey enthusiasts, they are spending their time trying to appeal to the mouth-breathing masses. It's the same reason that reality television dominates the airwaves instead of higher-quality programming. In terms of fans, the league is going for quantity, not quality.

Anyway, those are my feelings on the matter. I think that as long as Bettman or someone with his mindset is running the league, it is never going to be as good as it could or should be. The recent news about the Coyotes and what happened in Winnipeg further supports that. It doesn't make sense that cities like Quebec City, Winnipeg, Hartford, and Minneapolis lose NHL franchises while warm-weather cities that don't traditionally care about hockey gain franchises. These cities all ostensibly have bandwagon fans that jump ship as soon as their team starts sucking, while the cities that lost their teams are left to wonder if they will ever have an NHL team again. Again, this is bad for hockey as a whole, but it's where Bettman's priorities lie.

Chris



Double post.

I will agree that they seem to be aiming for quantity rather than quality, and that is, in my opinion, a detriment to the game and the league in the long run.

I think what Bettman must realize is that people prefer originality to commercialism, especially in a day and age where we are constantly bombarded with redundant ads and marketing gimmicks. Sure, clever marketing schemes and changing the game drastically may get people's attention at first, but people might eventually see the NHL for what it has become, something that is unoriginal rather than unique. In doing so, they run the risk of alienating traditional fans and boring new ones into extinction, similar to what happened with NASCAR.

They seem so caught up in marketing the game for what it could be rather than what it already is. How does Bettman expect anyone to respect the game when he clearly does not? That is simple psychology right there.

#22 NC WINGS FAN

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 04:27 AM

In general, I think there's too much money to be made for owners and executives to not have any influence on the game and officials bias.

At the same time, I believe that most if not all people involved are perfectly aware of this and thus they're aware that they have to play through it.

It's just part of the game.

The real problem is the consistency. The NHL, NBA, whoever, has not been consistent with what they want to call. Coaches receive word from the officials that they will emphasize calls on obstruction, goalie interference, whatever and the coaches plan accordingly but all of sudden one instance of a hook isn't really a hook for one team but it is for the other. And then interference for one team but not interference for the other. Nobody knows what's fair.



I don't know. With that being the case, the NHL really shot itself in the foot with that lousy call in the final seconds of game 5 of the 2007 WCF against (Lidsrom I believe?) that resulted in a tying goal and a Wings loss. My memory is a little fuzzy at the moment, but it proved to be the back breaker in the series, as Anaslime cruised through game 6 despite a late Wings comeback attempt on their way to the Finals.

In the end, it left many viewers thinking "Ana who?" "the Ottawa What?" "Where is that?" It ended up being one of the least viewed SCF in history. Way to "grow the game"!!

#23 therock48880

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 04:55 AM

What about the too many men call against the Pens that killed all their comeback momentum?
Or the boarding call on Crosby in the first minute of the game.
If there really were a conspiracy then surely they wouldn't call these, especially the too many men one.

The Pens had control of the play 5 on 5 for a stretch that earnt them those penalties.

I guess you could make a case for refs calling penalties to the losing team, but I don't think its logical to make a case for refs calling penalties in favour of a specific team.


The too many men penalty was after FIVE consecutive power plays for the Pens and the one on Crosby was very early in the first. My point was, as soon as Montreal got the lead, the power plays for the Pens started rolling in. Coincidence? Maybe. If this had been a one time thing, then maybe I'd buy the coincidence theory but that trend happened repeatedly throughout that series and I don't see how that can be denied. I think it was in game 6, someone took the time to look up how long after Montreal scored a goal that the Pens got a power play. I think it was 2 minutes or less each time.

Do you think the NBA refs favor Lebron, Kobe, etc...??? Clearly the answer is yes. So, why is it so far fetched to think that the NHL's version of those two wouldn't get the star treatment from the refs?
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#24 crotty99

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 05:19 AM

The too many men penalty was after FIVE consecutive power plays for the Pens and the one on Crosby was very early in the first. My point was, as soon as Montreal got the lead, the power plays for the Pens started rolling in. Coincidence? Maybe. If this had been a one time thing, then maybe I'd buy the coincidence theory but that trend happened repeatedly throughout that series and I don't see how that can be denied. I think it was in game 6, someone took the time to look up how long after Montreal scored a goal that the Pens got a power play. I think it was 2 minutes or less each time.

Do you think the NBA refs favor Lebron, Kobe, etc...??? Clearly the answer is yes. So, why is it so far fetched to think that the NHL's version of those two wouldn't get the star treatment from the refs?


Yes, and my point is that the penalties I mentioned were both momentum sapping penalties when they were called. In fact Montreal had 2 consecutive power plays to start the game. If they were truly favouring the pens then they were doing a horrible job at it.

As for the NBA thing, I don't watch it so I can't say. I just refuse to believe the refs are told to favour certain teams. Perhaps you could make a case for one particular ref being corrupt or something like that, but there is no way the entire league brass has sat down and said they want X team to get favourable treatment.

Do you think Detroit gets favourable treatment? I can guarantee opposition fans think we do (We don't obviously). It's just the way it is.

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#25 therock48880

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 06:00 AM

Yes, and my point is that the penalties I mentioned were both momentum sapping penalties when they were called. In fact Montreal had 2 consecutive power plays to start the game. If they were truly favouring the pens then they were doing a horrible job at it.

As for the NBA thing, I don't watch it so I can't say. I just refuse to believe the refs are told to favour certain teams. Perhaps you could make a case for one particular ref being corrupt or something like that, but there is no way the entire league brass has sat down and said they want X team to get favourable treatment.

Do you think Detroit gets favourable treatment? I can guarantee opposition fans think we do (We don't obviously). It's just the way it is.


No, I never said refs were told to favor anyone. I doubt that happens, but there isn't a doubt in my mind that certain players and teams get star treatment. It happens in every other sport and I think it'd be naive to assume it doesn't happen in hockey.


No, I don't think the Wings get favorable treatment in any way (especially in the playoffs). It seems odd to me that they went from the second least penalized team in the regular season to the most penalized team in the playoffs.
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#26 crotty99

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 06:48 AM

No, I never said refs were told to favor anyone. I doubt that happens, but there isn't a doubt in my mind that certain players and teams get star treatment. It happens in every other sport and I think it'd be naive to assume it doesn't happen in hockey.


No, I don't think the Wings get favorable treatment in any way (especially in the playoffs). It seems odd to me that they went from the second least penalized team in the regular season to the most penalized team in the playoffs.


Isn't that the same thing? I dunno I just prefer to think star players get calls because they work hard to be in a position where calls are drawn. In the case of a player like Crosby, every penalty he has ever drawn is immediately labeled as "star treatment". This is because everyone has subscribed to that way of thinking and not because it is actually true. Draper has has drawn soft calls, zetterberg has drawn softs calls, everyone has drawn soft calls! But if Crosby gets a soft call everyone calls "star treatment". (I'm not singling you out, just people in gerneral)

I don't think the wings get favourable treatment either, I was just making the point that non wings fans think we certainly do. No wings fan will think that though. Go read lets go pens and you will find they too are critical of officiating. Remember the 07/08 finals and all the complaints about the wings getting away with obstruction? Pens fans dont think their team gets star treatment, wings fans don't think their fans get star treatment, yet both fans accuse each other of getting star treatment.

The officiating is extremely inconsistent and at times incompetent. However, I think that is due to the ridiculous nature of the rules in the new NHL. Most penalties called in any game are going to be soft and unnecessary. Every team has been on the recieving end of these calls, I dont think any one team is given star treatment.

Just my opionion.

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#27 therock48880

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 03:58 PM

Isn't that the same thing? I dunno I just prefer to think star players get calls because they work hard to be in a position where calls are drawn. In the case of a player like Crosby, every penalty he has ever drawn is immediately labeled as "star treatment". This is because everyone has subscribed to that way of thinking and not because it is actually true. Draper has has drawn soft calls, zetterberg has drawn softs calls, everyone has drawn soft calls! But if Crosby gets a soft call everyone calls "star treatment". (I'm not singling you out, just people in gerneral)

I don't think the wings get favourable treatment either, I was just making the point that non wings fans think we certainly do. No wings fan will think that though. Go read lets go pens and you will find they too are critical of officiating. Remember the 07/08 finals and all the complaints about the wings getting away with obstruction? Pens fans dont think their team gets star treatment, wings fans don't think their fans get star treatment, yet both fans accuse each other of getting star treatment.

The officiating is extremely inconsistent and at times incompetent. However, I think that is due to the ridiculous nature of the rules in the new NHL. Most penalties called in any game are going to be soft and unnecessary. Every team has been on the recieving end of these calls, I dont think any one team is given star treatment.

Just my opionion.


I'm on letsgopens at times too. I have the same username but rarely post there. I find it fun to read their perspective on occasion. Yes I remember their complaints about obstruction. I also remember Datsyuk with the puck on his stick at center ice about to ice the game into an empty net when he was tripped and had the puck taken which led to the Hossa almost goal. There is no possible way the every ref on the ice missed that play.

It's really not worth debating. There once was a time when I felt the exact same way you do. Maybe in a couple of years you'll have converted over to my way of thinking. Actually, I'd prefer that the NHL do some thing about the horrible officiating (something I think everyone agrees on) and this concept would just fade away. However, I don't think that will happen and I beleive that certain teams will get the benefit of the doubt more than others will, just like in every other sport.
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#28 titanium2

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 04:03 PM

Yes I remember their complaints about obstruction.


You remember their complaint that the Pens were losing at the Joe because the Red Wings were tampering with their equipment because the home team is supposed to supply the equipment to the road team?

#29 crotty99

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 06:42 PM

I'm on letsgopens at times too. I have the same username but rarely post there. I find it fun to read their perspective on occasion. Yes I remember their complaints about obstruction. I also remember Datsyuk with the puck on his stick at center ice about to ice the game into an empty net when he was tripped and had the puck taken which led to the Hossa almost goal. There is no possible way the every ref on the ice missed that play.

It's really not worth debating. There once was a time when I felt the exact same way you do. Maybe in a couple of years you'll have converted over to my way of thinking. Actually, I'd prefer that the NHL do some thing about the horrible officiating (something I think everyone agrees on) and this concept would just fade away. However, I don't think that will happen and I beleive that certain teams will get the benefit of the doubt more than others will, just like in every other sport.


I guess, for now, we shall agree to disagree :thumbup:

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#30 Stinkyness

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 06:50 PM

There is a conspiracy. Unwritten, unspoken, and unmentionable in the NHL. Only thing is, its a conspiracy of unwitting conspirators. The refs are for the most part, complete idiots. That Colon guy is a hapless retard under the thumb of a mentally disturbed midget commish who has the sick compulsion to put ICE hockey teams in cities where the winter weather averages 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Definitely a conspiracy...of numbnuts.

#31 F.Michael

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 07:52 PM

I'm on letsgopens at times too. I have the same username but rarely post there. I find it fun to read their perspective on occasion. Yes I remember their complaints about obstruction. I also remember Datsyuk with the puck on his stick at center ice about to ice the game into an empty net when he was tripped and had the puck taken which led to the Hossa almost goal. There is no possible way the every ref on the ice missed that play.

It's really not worth debating. There once was a time when I felt the exact same way you do. Maybe in a couple of years you'll have converted over to my way of thinking. Actually, I'd prefer that the NHL do some thing about the horrible officiating (something I think everyone agrees on) and this concept would just fade away. However, I don't think that will happen and I beleive that certain teams will get the benefit of the doubt more than others will, just like in every other sport.

Then there was the very weak hooking call on Hudler, and Malone knocking Lilja's stick outta his hands while the Pens were on the pp...I'm not of the belief that there's any form of conspiracy, but what a poor job done by the officials, and there appears little improvement so far these playoffs.

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#32 trogdor

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 08:43 PM

something for thought
in game five for the wings I did not see one face off where someone wasn't thrown out.
in game seven with Boston, in the first period the were 15 face offs, no one thrown out.

#33 55fan

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 11:16 AM

There is a conspiracy. It is not against a team, but against a person.

As it is, the rules are rather complex. If the officials enforced them consistently, it would be easy to notice when the officials missed the occasional call. By adding in "intent to _____" rules, making rules that are "in the opinion of the official" and by generally changing things randomly and repeatedly, no one actually knows what the game is supposed to look like.

Colin Campbell has ordered the officials (on and off ice) to be inconsistent in their enforcement of the rules so that he (Campbell) doesn't have to try to explain an actual hockey game to Bettman.





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