Hockey Headlines

Sunday, 19 February 2012

CSI: NHL

While William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger have yet to be seen at an NHL game this year, it appears that the men who run the NHL offices in New York City have decided to play a more preventative role in ensuring that the clock malfunction seen in Los Angeles earlier this month won't be a recurring problem. Not only will the "eyes in the sky" be watching the clock in Los Angeles, but they'll also have an eye on the clocks in the other 29 arenas for the remainder of the season. In short, someone will always be watching the clock in order to prevent another Los Angeles incident from occurring.

Colin Campbell, the NHL's senior vice-president and director of hockey operations, spoke with Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times earlier this week, and told the reporter that the NHL will keep a closer eye on all clocks late in the game.

"We have initiated a number of steps to ensure there will be no clock issues in all arenas in the NHL," Campbell said in an email.

In the Kings' defence, Campbell told Elliott that "the clock's maker, Daktronics, had examined the clock and found 'no defects.' He also said the off-ice crew working that game had been interviewed and that he was 'completely satisfied' with the clock operator, whom he would not identify."

"We are observing all 'last minutes' of each period to make sure there are no 'blips' or 'pauses' in the last minute in the video booths upstairs," Campbell wrote in an email to Miss Elliott. "In our new video room in Toronto we now receive live feeds of the overheads so we are not 'slaved' to TV waiting to see if they show the overheads.

"We will find a way to bleed the clock feed into the overheads now. We have implemented a few other items into the clock process as well to make sure there can be no burps."

And with that, the case is closed. Done and done.

There are still some loose ends, you say? Well, the Columbus Blue Jackets get zero points from that night, so that's already been fulfilled. And since it was neither a clock malfunction nor was it human error as per Colin "Grissom" Campbell, I guess we need to bring back Robert Stack and file this one as an "Unsolved Mystery".
If you're anything like me, you know that this doesn't sit well. If there were no malfunctions and no human errors, there has to be something that caused the pause in time. All Campbell has done in this case is to say that the two most likely causes of the pause are not to blame. So what gives? What causes the stoppage of time?

Honestly, it seems that no one knows, and apparently the NHL is comfortable with that. From this perspective, the Los Angeles clock incident now becomes a "Cold Case". I suppose that Kathryn Morris will pick this one up somewhere down the road.
I'm disappointed in Campbell not giving a reason why the clock stopped momentarily in Los Angeles. If anything, Campbell's explanations only prompts more questions about what may have happened against the Blue Jackets. While there are always a few minor questions left over in any case, the heart of the investigation answers the main question asked. This one does not.

The only advice I have for the NHL after not solving this malfunction is "don't get fooled again".

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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