One of the biggest mistakes any official can make is being too hasty to make a call. It can happen to anyone, including a veteran, but this is a learning experience that almost everyone goes through in his or her career: When you make haste, you make mistakes.
Red Army is a documentary about so much more than just hockey. It's a window not just into the world of elite athletes, but also into the Cold War -- its oppression, its defections, its KGB trickery, its era of indefatigable distrust and ever-simmering antipathy between them and us.
Every player, coach and referee who has ever appeared in the NHL has his own story to tell about his first game in the League. The tale of my first game reffing in the NHL is an unconventional one. That's par for the course with me.
The Leafs are four games into the preseason; including two games against the Flyers and a split-squad pairing against the Sens. Players were fighting to show their skills... some of them quite literally.
Today, every sport is troubled by violence on and off the field, sexual predators, illegal drug usage, and corrupt practices. In the United States alone, one need only mention names - Bonds, Sandusky, Armstrong, Rice - but the list is endless.
In my post-active career as an officiating supervisor and trainer, I have absolutely seen officials whom I can instantly tell are letting fear control them rather than confronting that fear by letting the game take shape and calling it accordingly.
Hockey is a sport of trends as well as evolution. That includes the enforcement of the rulebook and the development of the rules themselves. But the enforcement of some rules is stressed more than others.
Ontario would probably have to expand from two teams to about five teams to accommodate the talent, and London, Ontario -- just 200km west of Toronto -- would be able to put one of the strongest teams on the ice.
As he was for every official coming through the ranks in my era, Frank Udvari was a mentor and teacher to me. When I was working my way up to the NHL, I never knew when he might be at a game I was doing. His message was both memorable and startling.
Much to the disappointment of his grand plan - Alfie didn't win a cup by signing with the Red Wings in July 2013 for one year. He did record a respectable season, with 18 goals, and 49 points in only 68 games.