A seismic change to NHL officiating remains long overdue, writes Trevor Amon

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NHL referee Tim Peel has been banned by the league from working any future games because he was caught on a hot mic stating he was basically looking for any excuse to give the Nashville Predators a penalty.

Newsflash: Virtually every NHL game since the league’s inception has been refereed this way.

I have been watching Hockey Night in Canada for nearly 50 years. Countless games I have seen include statements from colour commentators such as this: “The Leafs better look out, Jim. They’ve had five power-plays so far, and the Canadiens have only had one. You just know that the refs will be looking to even things up now and give Toronto a penalty.”

NHL officiating is a joke, and it always has been.

Commissioner Gary Bettman was an outsider to hockey culture when he began his tenure 28 years ago. Surely, he must have asked himself this question during his early days as the boss: “Why can’t NHL referees just call the game like they do in other professional sports leagues, such as the NBA and NFL?”

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Why Bettman decided to accept the unsatisfactory answer to that question instead of demanding change back then is a mystery. An opportunity was missed to vastly improve the game, and a seismic change to NHL officiating remains long overdue.

Trevor Amon, Victoria

Stay vigilant

For those skeptics who believe the current pandemic is overblown, a conspiracy, and that preventive measures are unnecessary, they should look no further than Brazil.

In one day last week, that country had 90,000 confirmed infections and 2,650 deaths. In the previous 24 hours, there were 2,840 deaths. That’s over 5,000 deaths in two days.

President Jair Bolsonaro, their leader, has up until now downplayed the pandemic and the need for prevention strategies. Enough said on staying vigilant.

Roger Bjaanes, Harrison Hot Springs 

Kudos to clinic staff

I would like to comment on the COVID-19 vaccine clinic I attended Tuesday at the Italian Cultural Centre. What an amazing job the volunteers and staff are doing. I was blown away by their professionalism and dedication. So many friendly and helpful people guiding you through the process.

This so impressed me, and I now understand what a big deal this is. The organizational skills to have this succeed were phenomenal.

Only one little hiccup and that was the chairs were much too low for me to sit on after having two knee replacements. I stood all the time until I was called for my shot. Then, my ever-understanding and helpful nurse spied a higher chair that volunteers used to have their breaks. Problem solved, and I was ever so thankful.

Just a genuinely supreme effort by all. Thank you so much.

Lee Fenley Turner, Vancouver

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