Gary Bettman issues warning to teams ahead of second round of playoffs

Graham Montgomery
May 7, 2024  (7:51)

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressing the media during the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals
Photo credit: Sportsnet

The NHL reportedly had a meeting with teams ahead of the second round of the playoffs according to Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet. Apparently, the league is particularly concerned about embellishment in the playoffs this year.

The message is particularly important for the Vancouver Canucks, who are set to face off against the Edmonton Oilers for game one tomorrow. The team drew the 5th most powerplay opportunities throughout the regular season, but they would be happy to keep the game at 5 on 5 given how lethal the Oilers powerplay is.
Interesting to hear Tocchet say that the NHL had a meeting with the teams today and one of the points of emphasis was embellishment. Heading into a series with the Oilers, who we know are willing to do what they have to do to create PP chances, that could be very important.
Tocchet suddenly sounding off on embellishment feels like a preemptive move designed to limit how many powerplay opportunities there are in the series as a whole.
'I can't stand' it: #Canucks coach Rick Tocchet tired of embellishment in playoffs
That being said, some fans think embellishment is a serious issue, particularly with the Oilers. One fan accused Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl of perfecting a technique to draw penalties without getting called for embellishment themselves.
Both Draisatl and McDavid have perfected these 'techniques'. Hopefully, in the next round, the refs will have the guts to call the games appropriately and have the embellishment neutralized
The NHL continues to make more plays reviewable in an effort to help the referees call the game correctly. One fan suggested that plays where a player 'snaps' his head back, such as after a high stick for instance, it should be reviewable. Sometimes the head snap is all the referee sees so they make the call when in reality, the stick only came close to their head and did not actually hit the player.
Head snapping should be reviewed but that's next year isn't?
It will be interesting to see how the rules change next season but for now we will continue to play with the same rulebook the NHL has used all season. Be sure to stay tuned for more playoff hockey as the second round gets into full swing later today.