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NHL notes: Kings coach Darryl Sutter gripes about 'undisciplined officiating'

Kings head coach Darryl Sutter has a bone to pick with on-ice officials. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY...

Kings head coach Darryl Sutter has a bone to pick with on-ice officials. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports/Files)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:38 PM ET

Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter isn’t too happy about the state of NHL officiating after his team had a pair of goals waved off recently.

“We talk about our team as not taking offensive zone penalties, because the way the officiating is now, we have some undisciplined officiating,” he told reporters Wednesday.

“So, quite honestly, you can’t let that be a distraction to our team. We’ve seen it the last two games where, quite honestly, we’ve had goals that were supposed to be goals that weren’t.”

When asked about Mike Richards not being awarded a goal Tuesday after being hauled down while skating toward an empty net, allowing the Washington Capitals to tie the game and force overtime, Sutter suggested refs change their behaviour after the general managers' meetings and when playoffs approach.

“They will say it all evens out. I’ve heard it,” he said. “Once the league has their meetings in Florida in March, even though the rules don’t change, for a while the rules do change. And that’s unfortunate, and we see it. And I’ve seen it for a long time, and I know the answer always is ‘Oh, it’ll all even out.’ Well, that’s not true.

“I mean, it’s tough for the referees, too, because they’re in a high-pressure environment right now too, because they want to play after April 12th, too. That’s a fact ... I mean, there are 16 teams that get to play, and there are a certain amount of the officials that get to play. So I’m sure that they feel a lot of pressure, too.”

BLAKE HEADS CANADA

Rob Blake has been named general manager of Team Canada for the 2014 World Hockey Championship, Hockey Canada announced Wednesday.

Blake will lead a management team of Ron Hextall, Brad Pascall and Brad Treliving, who will serve as assistant general managers.

Steve Staios will serve as the team’s director of player development, assisting the management group and coaching staff.

Blake is in his first season as assistant GM of the Los Angeles Kings after spending three seasons in the NHL’s player safety department.

Hextall joined the Philadelphia Flyers this season as an assistant GM after spending seven years in the Kings organization as an assistant GM and vice-president.

Pascall has been with Hockey Canada since 1999, serving as vice-president of hockey operations since 2010.

Treliving is in his seventh season as assistant GM of the Phoenix Coyotes.

The world championship runs from May 9-25 in Minsk, Belarus.

ZETTERBERG HOPEFUL

Henrik Zetterberg is hopeful about hitting the ice again this season.

That is, if his club can make the playoffs.

The Detroit Red Wings forward, who had back surgery in mid-February, told reporters his wants to “play hockey again this year,” but his eight-week recovery period ends shortly after the club’s April 13 regular-season finale.

Detroit is also without its other star forward, Pavel Datsyuk, as the season winds down. However, Datsyuk announced Monday he’s back skating after suffering a knee injury that forced him to shut down in late February.

The Red Wings currently hold the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and are tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals with 80 points.

LEAFS ‘LOVE THOSE COLLEGE GUYS’

It looks like Don Cherry won't be offering his signature thumbs-up to the Toronto Maple Leafs anytime soon.

Hockey Night in Canada's controversial host took a shot at Leafs brass following the club’s Tuesday signing of University of New Hampshire defenceman Eric Knodel.

“(The) Leafs love those College guys,” the 80-year-old said through his official Twitter account Wednesday. “Signed Eric Knodel from the University of New Hampshire. Going to get a tryout with the Marlies.

“That means he takes a spot from some guy slugging it out on the buses. If you want to make the Leafs or get a tryout just go to U.S. College.”

The Knodel deal, in the grand scheme of things, is not an impact move. The 23-year-old's one-year deal is a two-way contract that kicks in next season.

The Leafs have five former NCAA players on their active roster -- Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, Jake Gardiner and Mason Raymond.

But this isn't the first time Cherry has weighed in on Toronto's roster decisions, so maybe we shouldn't raise our eyebrows at the timing of his critique.

In March of 2012, Cherry spoke candidly during a Coach’s Corner segment about then-general manager Brian Burke, saying the Leafs boss was biased toward Americans and did not put enough emphasis on acquiring Ontario players.

“Every team in the National Hockey League has a guy from Ontario except one, guess who it is? It’s Ontario's Toronto Maple Leafs,” Cherry said at the time.

DUCKS NAB BAILEY

The Anaheim Ducks have signed NCAA standout Matt Bailey, QMI Agency has learned.

The two-way deal is for two years and worth $1.385 million.

Bailey had 20 goals and 38 points in 38 games for Anchorage-Alaska this season, where he has spent the last four years.

Prior to that, he spent time with Tri-City and Sioux Falls of the USHL.

BRIEFLY

The New York Rangers called up forward J.T. Miller from AHL Hartford to replace the injured Chris Kreider. TSN reported Tuesday Kreider could be out a month with a hand injury.


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