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RED FISHER, The Gazette
Saturday, November 25, 2006

I see where the NHL's eyes in the sky in Toronto have confirmed their referees can do with a tad more work in the classroom following the mother of gaffes during last Saturday's Atlanta Thrashers visit to the Bell Centre. In a few words, they promise (well, sort of) it won't happen again.

You might remember that Atlanta goaltender Johan Hedberg made a series of stunning stops early in the game. Among them was a spectacular save on Sergei Samsonov - so much so that video goal judge David Taveroff wanted to inform the referees that he wanted to review the play.

One problem: the buzzer linking him to ice-level officials wasn't buzzing - and didn't - until play resumed. That's when the timekeeper blew the siren to get the attention of referees Dave Jackson and Paul Devorski.

Fine and dandy, but here's what Rule 39.1 part (v) states: "No goal may be awarded (or disallowed) as a result of video review once the puck has been dropped and play has resumed following the first stoppage of play after the potential goal."

Despite that, the play was reviewed and, as you'd expect, Atlanta GM Don Waddell wanted to know why.

The explanation from Toronto TV watchers, who make all decisions regarding whether a goal should or should not be

allowed, was that they weren't informed the puck had been dropped and play resumed. It's why they reviewed the play for several minutes and agreed with the referee's initial ruling of no goal. It wasn't until after the game, wrote Atlanta-Constitution writer John Manasso, that the Toronto people learned the review took place after play resumed.

Not to worry, folks. When GM Waddell complained to Toronto officials, they assured him "the league will take steps with referees, who have final authority over the game, to ensure that the rule is followed."

Take steps? Like what? Have the referees re-read the rule book?

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