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HAWKSINSIDER  /  NHL  /  NEWS

Stanley Cup Champion exposes NHL referee for fixing games

Published December 24, 2023 at 6:40 PM
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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Erik Johnson is making waves by accusing NHL referees of questionable conduct during a game against the Rangers. Johnson voiced his frustration, particularly regarding what he deemed an unjust instigator penalty.

According to him, the penalty resulted from complaints by the Sabres' bench in an entirely different period, the definition of a fixed 'make-up call'

According to Johnson, the ref told the Sabres' bench that he was given the instigator penalty because they were complaining too much in the first period.

In Johnson's words:


"I don't know if there's a gray area with the instigator or what have you, but that's not an instigator. That's two willing combatants that both accept a fight after what I thought was a hit on my partner, a young player in a vulnerable spot, and he needed to answer the bell for that. I thought it was ridiculous. I'd like to say more, even if I get fined. I really don't care. I thought it was BS."

The referees in question for this game were Jake Brenk and Carter Sandlak. Johnson's comments shine a light on an incident that raises questions about the officiating's integrity, suggesting that the instigator penalty may have been influenced by the Sabres' bench complaints.

This controversy adds an intriguing layer to the game, and it remains to be seen how the NHL will address Johnson's bold accusations against the referees.
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December 24   |   115 answers
Stanley Cup Champion exposes NHL referee for fixing games

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