REPORT: The NHL is Not Doing Enough To Hold Referees Accountable

Published September 4, 2023 at 8:52

European hockey leagues are leading the way in making referees more accountable for their decisions. This approach has gained wide support from fans, players, and coaches, prompting questions about whether the NHL should do the same.

European Refereeing Approach

A recent Instagram post revealed how European leagues handle referee accountability.

Multiple pro leagues in Europe such as the SHL have their referees go for postgame interviews to explain their side on controversial calls. It's a very similar setup to TV interviews with players where the people in the studio can fire off questions.

The leagues have seen positive feedback from coaches, players, and fans because they find it brings more respect to the game when the referees are viewed as humans who can explain their thoughts.

There have been times when the officials just flat-out say they made a mistake in the moment and apologize to the team/player publicly.

The question is, should the NHL adopt a similar approach?

Challenges in NHL Implementation


While implementing such a policy in the NHL makes sense, there are concerns. Sometimes, a referee's explanation may not satisfy fans or teams, especially when a call affects a game's outcome.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is aware of the European policy but may face obstacles due to the difficulty of removing referees for poor calls, partly because of strong referee unions. However, everyone agrees that a policy to hold referees accountable would benefit the game. It would improve transparency, understanding, and respect for referees, making hockey better for all involved.

As seen on House of Hockey - REPORT: Referees To Be Held Accountable For Poor Calls In Europe
September 4   |   123 answers
REPORT: The NHL is Not Doing Enough To Hold Referees Accountable

Should the NHL hold referees more accountable?

Yes11190.2 %
No129.8 %
Latest 10 stories