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Bettman and the media go toe to toe

Last night we shared some thoughts from Gary Bettman as quoted by Dave Lozo of, that came from a press conference held before last night’s Kings and Canucks game. It turns out, as expected, we didn’t exactly get the full story of what went down.

Turns out there was some back and forth between Bettman and the Vancouver media, who seem to be perpetuating this ‘conspiracy’ talk and are determined to uncover the truth behind the mysterious decision that waived off a goal by Daniel Sedin. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun shares the back and forth; here’s a snippet:

Q: Has the so-called DVD that was sent to teams, has that actually changed the rules? Because in the rules, it says there has to be a distinct kicking motion. Now, apparently, there does not have to be?

Bettman: Well, I’m going to take issue with your characterization of a “so-called DVD.” The DVD exists. Whether or not you’ve seen it or are aware of it doesn’t make it “so-called.” Secondly, all the rules, obviously, have to be interpreted, standards have to be applied. And this is something that was reviewed with the general managers.

I can’t believe that I’m siding with the NHL and Gary Bettman on this one, but as I’ve covered numerous times the past few days, the league has already established precedent that there doesn’t not have to be a ‘distinct kicking motion’ for a goal to be disallowed. This has happened multiple times in the past few years and each time the NHL has explained that intentional or not, ‘distinct kicking motion’ or not, if a puck is propelled into the net by a skate by anything other than a deflection they’ll call off the goal.

Now, should the NHL clarify the rule book so that the rest of us aren’t as confused? Absolutely, and the NHL should also make public the DVD that was sent to teams. The media and the fans are calling conspiracy, while we’ve yet to hear any of the players or the Canucks officials cry bloody murder (although Alain Vigneault wasn’t happy with the call after the game). Perhaps this is because they’ve remembered this DVD that clarified this rule, along with others.