Montreal Canadiens v Carolina Hurricanes

Report: officiating will be front and center at next week’s GM meetings


National Hockey League referees have been highly criticized this season and officiating will be a main topic of discussion when league general managers meet next week in Toronto.

“I got a call asking me if there was anything I wanted to put on the agenda and I said, ‘Officiating,'” one undisclosed general manager told the Toronto Sun, “and I was told another GM had already tabled 37 items to do with officiating.”

The latest frustration with officiating and inconsistent calls came from the Nashville Predators’ camp following a 7-4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

Predators coach Barry Trotz was not pleased with the officials’ decision following a video review of Jannik Hansen’s goal late in the third period.

He and defenseman Shea Weber also took issue with a hooking call to Sergei Kostitsyn that resulted in a Henrik Sedin penalty shot goal with less than three minutes remaining in the third period of what was, prior to the call, a one-goal hockey game.

The idea of a coach’s challenge, similar to that in the National Football League, has also been brought up.

Last month, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told the Globe and Mail he was open to the idea of a coach’s challenge.


In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.