Bettman and the media go toe to toe

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Last night we shared some thoughts from Gary Bettman as quoted by
Dave Lozo of NHL.com, that came from a press conference held before last
night’s Kings and Canucks game. It turns out, as expected, we didn’t
exactly get the full story of what went down.

Turns out there was
some back and forth between Bettman and the Vancouver media, who seem to
be perpetuating this ‘conspiracy’ talk and are determined to uncover
the truth behind the mysterious decision that waived off a goal by
Daniel Sedin. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun shares the back and forth; here’s a snippet:

Q: Has the so-called DVD that was sent to teams, has that
actually changed the rules? Because in the rules, it says there has to
be a distinct kicking motion. Now, apparently, there does not have to
be?

Bettman: Well, I’m going to take issue with your
characterization of a “so-called DVD.” The DVD exists. Whether or not
you’ve seen it or are aware of it doesn’t make it “so-called.” Secondly,
all the rules, obviously, have to be interpreted, standards have to be
applied. And this is something that was reviewed with the general
managers.

I can’t believe that I’m siding with the
NHL and Gary Bettman on this one, but as I’ve covered numerous times the
past few days, the league has already established precedent that there
doesn’t not have to be a ‘distinct kicking motion’ for a goal to be
disallowed. This has happened multiple times in the past few years and
each time the NHL has explained that intentional or not, ‘distinct
kicking motion’ or not, if a puck is propelled into the net by a skate
by anything other than a deflection they’ll call off the goal.

Now,
should the NHL clarify the rule book so that the rest of us aren’t as
confused? Absolutely, and the NHL should also make public the DVD that
was sent to teams. The media and the fans are calling conspiracy, while
we’ve yet to hear any of the players or the Canucks officials cry bloody
murder (although Alain Vigneault wasn’t happy with the call after the
game). Perhaps this is because they’ve remembered this DVD that
clarified this rule, along with others.