Brooks Laich says refs, players curse at each other ‘every single game’


(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Wednesday on 106.7 The Fan, The Junkies were discussing the accusations by Trent Williams that a ref was calling him names during Sunday’s Redskins-Eagles game. During Brooks Laich’s weekly call, the hosts asked him how often that happens in hockey.

“It probably happens every single night,” Laich said. “Refereeing is sort of a gloryless position. If you do your job perfect to the ‘T,’ nobody recognizes you. Everyone’s focused on the game. They only recognize you if they think you made a bad call or if they think you blew a call or made up a call or something like that. If you do it excellent, nobody recognizes you so you get no glory. If you’ve ever reffed and there’s somebody who comes down at you and starts yelling at you, your initial instinct is to stick it back to that person.

“So, on the ice — I remember last game specifically, with 10 seconds left and one of the linesman was yelling at their team, and there was curse words and swear words and stuff. Their player was swearing at the linesman. I mean, it happens every game. Every single game it happens.”

Williams was bothered by his situation on the field — at least enough to make a point to tell the story after the game. Laich did admit that he’s never heard a ref go as far as to call a player the names Williams is alleging, but the Caps veteran said that no one in his locker room would take it personally.

“We’re all grown men out on the ice,” he said. “Somebody’s gonna be hurt by a few words? Linesman are involved in a lot because of faceoffs. So sometimes somebody think someone’s cheating on a faceoff and the linesman will say, ‘Put your stick down,’ and you get into it a little bit with the linesman. I try to avoid that stuff. I’ve been in the league now 10 years and I’ve gotten to know the guys pretty good.

“Some of the new guys come in and they start yelling, ‘How come he’s cheating? Kick him out.’ And [the ref says], ‘Put your stick down,’ and then it blows up into a little bit of a brouhaha. But nobody’s feelings are gonna be hurt. We’re competing, they’re trying to govern the game. Even if it’s intense out on the ice, it’s just emotion.”

 

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Dan Steinberg · November 20, 2013

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