Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What's the Signal for We're Finished?

All good things must end: Like the IIHF Rulebook, which I conclude tonight with Referee's and Linesman's signals.

Ok, so now what?: A new home for this blog on Kukla's Korner this fall. And of course, my new all-Winterhawks, all the time blog on Plenty to keep me out of trouble.

But for now: It's on to the NHL's collective bargaining agreement. After we tackle this:

The rule: Annex 4, Duties of the Officials. Referee's Signals. Linesman's Signals.

Some of these make sense: Like elbowing (tapping either elbow with the opposite hand), holding (grasping either wrist with the other hand in front of the chest) and kneeing (tapping either knee with the palm of the hand, while keeping both skates on the ice).

But I want to know how much wine the proper authorities were drinking when they came up with this one: Match Penalty - Rule 507. Patting the palm of the hand on top of the head. Do they have to to rub their stomach at the same time?

And of course, since we all know how much I love and hate the icing rule, there's this: Icing the Puck - Rule 460. The back Linesman (or Referee in the Two Official System) signals a possible icing, by fully extending either arm over his head. The arm shall remain raised until the front Linesman or Referee, either blows the whistle to indicate an icing, or until the icing is washed out. Once the icing has been completed, the back Linesman or Referee shall first cross his arms in front of the chest and then shall point to the appropriate face-off spot and skate to it.

Morals of the story:

The game: Like the job itself, the Linesman's signals are way more complicated, and dependent on one of the other officials. Somebody give these guys a break. Either the player iced the puck or he didn't. Why wait for someone else to tell you they did?

Life: Linesmen are like the vice presidents of companies. They get a lot of power, but it means working way harder than the prez and they are beholden to the big cheese to make the final decisions on things. There should be signals for VPs that they could use in meetings or other events where they've had enough of playing second banana to the bigger monkeys. Such as:

-- Hold left palm down towards ground and push fingertips of other hand upwards into palm repeatedly to indicate "you are an ass and nobody is listening to what you are saying."

-- Hold index finger to head in motion that mimics a gun being held up to your head to indicate that the death by powerpoint is really killing people and must be stopped to avoid any further harm to employees.

-- Run hand across neck repeatedly to indicate that the idea the president is about to present is a bad one that will cost the company millions of dollars, result in a PR nightmare and prompt the board to vote him off the corporate island.

Next up: The NHL's collective bargaining agreement.

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