Yzerman calls out NHL official over 'a terrible call.'

Yzerman calls out NHL official over 'a terrible call.'

Steve Yzerman takes the opportunity to fire off 2 unprompted shot at NHL officials.

Jonathan Larivee

It isn't every day that you will hear a National Hockey League general manager be openly critical of the officials in the league, and it's even less common when those criticisms come entirely unprompted.

Then again not every NHL general manager commands the kind of respect wielded by Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman, who during his end of season press conference last week took a pair of unprompted shots at NHL officiating.

One of those shots was more general in nature with Yzerman discussing a lucky break for the Red Wings during one of their final games of the season against the Montreal Canadiens. Although Yzerman did acknowledge that the Red Wings had caught a break, he also took a jab at the NHL officials in the process arguing that they hadn't caught a break all season long up until that point.

"We got a bit of a break on the icing call, finally they did us a favor right?" asked Yzerman with a laugh.

The other though was much more specific in nature and it singled out veteran NHL official Kelly Sutherland. Yzerman expressed his frustration with a blown call that occurred back on the 16th of April during a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals. Early in the game Sutherland would blow the puck dead while it was clearly still in play, resulting in a Flyers' goal being disallowed.

The Flyers would go on to lose the game in regulation, after pulling their goalie in the third period while down a goal, which would also eliminate the Red Wings from playoff contention.

"Philly should have got credit for a goal in the first period, that was a terrible call," said Yzerman. "And then what happened with that one?"

As you can see from the replay below, it was a pretty bad call on the ice and I suspect that the lengthy review that followed the call on the ice was due to the fact the officials knew full well they had made a mistake, but were powerless to reverse that mistake.

It's hard to be critical of Yzerman for feeling the way he does given the fact that Sutherland's blown call may very well have cost his team their season. Although Yzerman was smiling and good natured throughout his comments in his end of season press conference, I also don't think it's just a coincidence that this topic came up twice, again entirely unprompted, during his media availability.