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NHL on Briere offside goal: “We’re as upset as Pittsburgh almost -- it’s a mistake”

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell, NHL director of hockey operations, speaks to reporters during the league’s general managers’ annual fall meeting, in Toronto on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese)


Prior to yesterday, not many were familiar with the name Tony Sericolo.

Given what’s transpired today, Sericolo probably wishes that was still true.

The veteran NHL linesman -- he’s called over 800 games -- was called to the carpet on Thursday after NHL senior executive vice-president of hockey operations Colin Campbell admitted Sericolo erred in not whistling Daniel Briere’s first goal offside during Philadelphia’s Game 1 victory over Pittsburgh.

“There’s no other way to explain it but a missed call,” Campbell told The Canadian Press in an interview. “We’re as upset as Pittsburgh almost. It’s a mistake.

“It was a quick turnaround. You can see it was a quick 70-foot pass — the linesman was up with the play and then had to move quickly back and he saw it from the angle he saw it from.

“But still his job is to get the right call and he didn’t.”

Sericolo was one of just 40 officials to be chosen for postseason work from a pool of over 70. According to his NHL Officials page, this was his sixth playoff game.

Campbell’s comments made it unclear if Sericolo would get to work No. 7.

“There’s always fallout,” he said. “The referees and the linesmen are judged on the work they do as far as how they advance in doing games. If mistakes are made, no matter how difficult they are, there’s got to be decisions made on who advances.”

The decision for referee and linesman staffing decisions falls to Terry Gregson, the NHL’s director of officiating. A call placed to Gregson by the Canadian Press wasn’t returned.