|National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman comments on the Daniel Sedin's overturned goal in Game No. 3.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Wednesday issued a strong defense of the league’s video-review process, in the aftermath of a controversial incident in Game 3 of the Kings-Vancouver series, and rejected any suggestions of a league "conspiracy." Bettman Press Conference
League pundits and fans have been buzzing, since Monday, about Daniel Sedin’s overturned goal, after video-review officials in Toronto ruled that Sedin’s "kicking motion" sent the puck into the Kings’ net.
The call has led to intense debate, but in an interview with LAKings.com on Wednesday, Bettman said he was comfortable with the way the incident was handled and dismissed the idea that any league officials have a rooting interest in any games’ outcome.
"First of all, I don't believe we had an incident," Bettman said. "We had a close call that was made by our professionals in hockey operations in the Toronto office. I am comfortable with their professionalism, their integrity and their judgment. Whenever you have a situation that's a close call, you're going to have one side that's happy and one side that's unhappy.
"For anyone to suggest, or use the word 'conspiracy' is simply absurd. There's no foundation to it. My guess is, it's no different than what we've seen and experienced in prior years in the first round of the playoffs. Emotions are up, passions are up and the stakes are high."
Bettman also said he was satisfied with the way that league officials explained the "kicking" rule. After the game, an explanation was posted on NHL.com and Mike Murphy, the league’s vice president of hockey operations, gave an explanation on TV.
"No matter how clearly you define a rule, you're going to see something," Bettman said. "If the leg swung six feet, it would be a lot clearer than if it moved an inch or two. So there are always going to be tough calls, but it's been well defined. It's something that the general managers have reviewed. There's been a DVD, with video examples, that was circulated previously, in seasons past. As I said, I'm comfortable with the judgment that was made by our folks in charge of video review."
Bettman was also asked about the prospect of the Winter Classic -- the league’s annual outdoor regular-season game -- ever being played in Los Angeles, something Kings governor Tim Leiweke recently said the Kings are interested in staging.
"It's not something we have studied," Bettman said, "because I presume that, from a weather standpoint, it would be difficult for us to ensure that the ice and the game conditions would be consistent or stable enough for us to conduct a game that actually counts in the standings. But if they're serious about it, then we'll have to study it in more depth."
To read the entire interview with Bettman, visit LAKingsInsider.com