The Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, had the genius move of putting a Go-Pro camera on the helmet of referee David Banfield, mic’ing him and linesman Paul Carnathan for a Dec. 7 game against the Rockford Ice Hogs (the Chicago Blackhawks’ affiliate).
Why was it genius? Because it was Teddy Bear Toss Night. So yes, an ice-level view of thousands of plush animals hitting the ice (around the 3:45 mark).
Of course, the Checkers had a little luck in this experiment, what with a few fights and a video review of a potential goal:
A few highlights:
• When Banfield says, “You’re gong to push him on your own goalie, that’s a smart move.”
• That discussion between the players near the penalty box, where we wish there were hot mics at all times. Like the one at 3:30 about whether or not there should have been an instigator call.
• The acknowledgement that “this [game] could get [expletive] stupid.”
• That discussion in the penalty box about why the play was interference.
• And, of course, the video review, and the discussion with both benches as to why there wasn’t a goal scored.
Obviously, some on-ice officials are better at their gigs than others (coughTIM PEELcough), but this video is a reminder that their jobs are challenging, exhausting and as much working politics and personalities as remembering the rulebook.