Bettman accuses fans of overreacting to bad refereeing, but sends controversial ref Chris Lee home

Bettman with his head in the sand yet again...


In case you missed it earlier, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman met with the media for his annual "state of the union address" prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final and before he could even be asked by any of the assembled media, Bettman himself made a statement on the league's officiating this postseason.

Bettman first acknowledged that the NHL receives complaints about its level of officiating every offseason and that, in his mind, this season is no different. Bettman explained that the league's referees are not instructed to call the game any differently than they do during the regular season and that while they may miss some calls, they are still the best referees in the world. Literally... he said that...

Our officials are not only the best hockey officials, but the best officials in the world.

Um... I don't know, Gary. It seems to me that if the NHL had the best officials in the world then we wouldn't really be talking about them all that much. I mean... I don't go around talking about my six pack abs because there's a nice little beer gut underneath my t-shirt that would make that statement look pretty foolish. I think Mr. Bettman and the NHL need to take a long hard look in the mirror because clearly they're not seeing the same thing that we're all seeing.

Of course, much of the controversy surrounding the NHL's officiating this post-season can be attributed to veteran referee Chris Lee and his absolute mangling of Game 4 of the Montreal Canadiens vs Vegas Golden Knights series and Game 7 of the Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders series. Well... it doesn't seem to matter that Bettman and the NHL refuse to admit that their officials are abysmal because actions speak louder than words. In an absolutely deafening action taken by the league earlier today Chris Lee himself has been removed from action for the Stanley Cup Final.

Check it out:

The rotating cast of referees for the Stanley Cup Final will be:

Francis Charron #6 – 2nd Cup Final (’20)

Gord Dwyer #19 – 2nd Cup Final (’19)

Eric Furlatt #27 – 1st Cup Final

Dan O’Rourke #9 – 5th Cup Final (’11,’12,’16,’20)

Kelly Sutherland #11 – 8th Cup Final (’10,’11,’15,’16,’18,’19,’20)