Mathew Barzal calls for major changes to NHL officiating.
Peter Joneleit/CSM/Zuma  

Mathew Barzal calls for major changes to NHL officiating.

Barzal goes big.

Jonathan Larivee

When the upcoming National Hockey League regular season finally gets under way, you can bet your money that the complaints about the officiating in the game will quickly follow.

Regardless of how the NHL tries to tinker with their rules and regulations it seems that each and every season we are treated to at least a handful of officiating disasters on the ice, sometimes in massively important games no less. It can be a major source of frustration for fans to be sure, but it has to be even more frustrating from the perspective of a player on the ice.

Recently, New York Islanders star forward Mathew Barzal shared his feelings regarding the zebras on the ice when he made a suggestion for a major overhaul of officiating in the NHL. Speaking with ESPN's Greg Wyshynski, Barzal was asked about what rule he would change in the NHL if he could do so. The talented young forward would go on to reveal that the officials on the ice often cause headaches for the players playing the game, and added that he feels the league needs to find a way to reduce the number of officials actually on the ice.

"Here's what the league needs to do: The league needs to find a way to only have two refs on the ice," said Barzal as per ESPN. "The refs are in the way all the time. There needs to be a way to have the game controlled without officials being in the way. It's always happening."

What made this comment stand out even more is that Barzal has reportedly been keeping a list of things he would like to see changed in the game, a list he calls 'Ideas for The Game'. In spite of having that lengthy list of options though, this is the one that he chose to share which indicates to me that he genuinely believes this to be a pretty big problem in the league.

With ever evolving technology it certainly is possible that we could reduce the need for so many bodies on the ice in the relatively near future, although I suspect that the NHL Officials Association would strongly oppose any changes of the sort.