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Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn. .ca! Hi Kerry, Keep up the great column. Just thought Id share this interesting story and question: At the weekend, a linesman went down injured late in the first period of an Australian Ice Hockey League game in Melbourne between the Melbourne Ice and the Newcastle North, after unfortunately being on the receiving end of a big hit. He was taken off the ice concussed and could not return to the game. In an extraordinary turn of events, Fox Sports Australia commentator Stephen White, an IIHF certified referee who was calling the game, was forced to jump out of the commentary box and into the game as the back-up linesman as no other was available to allow the game to continue. Apparently it was a forfeit had he not stepped in. I just want to know what the ruling is on this in the NHL, if certain officials get injured how long is it before the game has to be called off? By the way this story is all over the news in Australia, apparently this has never happened in any sport in history (a commentator replacing an injured match official). Cheers, Jake GDay Jake! We at TSN and Cmon Ref are honoured to answer your question from Down Under and the unusual incident you described during an Australian Ice Hockey League game. Kudos to Fox Sports commentator Stephen White for allowing the game to be completed instead of forfeited when he exchanged his microphone for a whistle. I loved the YouTube footage from the game and hope that injured Linesman, Russell Huber has fully recovered from the hit he took. An NHL game would never be called off should any (or all) of the Officials be unable to continue through illness, accident or even in cases where they were unable to arrive at the game through any misadventure, including bad weather. Provisions in the NHL rule book provide for such situations to indicate that "the show must go on!" Rule 31.1—If, owing to illness or accident, one of the Referees is unable to continue to officiate, the remaining Referee shall perform the duties of the ill or injured Referee during the balance of the game. In the event that a member of the Leagues Hockey Operations departments is in attendance at a game where a spare official is present, he shall have the authority to substitute the injured Referee with the spare official. (In reality any NHL Ref or Lineman if in attendance would suit up in the event one of the Officials could not continue. In the playoffs there is always a Stand-by Official assigned to the game who is required to be dressed and ready to go, short of lacing up his skates. In deciding games both a Stand-by Referee and Linesmen are assigned.) If, through misadventure of sickness, the Referees and Linesmen appointed are prevented from appearing, the League will make every attempt to find suitable replacement officials, otherwise, the Managers or Coaches of the two Clubs shall agree on Referee(s) and Linesman (men). If they are unable to agree, they shall appoint a player from each side who shall act as Referee and Linesman; the player of the home Club acting as Referee and the player of the visiting Club as Linesman. If the regularly appointed officials appear during the progress of the game, they shall at once replace the temporary officials. To paraphrase rule 32.6—If a linesman is unable to finish the game, the Referee can appoint another to replace him and if no replacement is available the two Referees will assist the remaining Linesman with his duties in addition to retaining their ability to assess penalties. While you might think it bizarre to appoint a player from each team to act as replacement officials it actually did occur in an NHL game. On January 15, 1983, tough guy Gary Howatt (as a member of the New Jersey Devils) and Mickey Vocan (as a member of the Hartford Whalers) became the only active players to officiate an NHL game as linesmen when a snowstorm prevented a referee and linesman from reaching the Hartford Civic Center for a game between the Whalers and Devils. The lone NHL Linesman who made it through the storm acted as the Referee in the game. Another unprecedented assignment of replacement game officials which I wrote about extensively in my book, The Final Call, occurred during the 1987-88 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 4 of the Wales Conference final between the Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils. In the aftermath of Jim Scheonfelds one-game suspension resulting from his infamous "doughnut" line shouted to Referee Don Koharski following Game 3, Referee Dave Newell (President of the NHL Officials Association) refused to take the ice when the Coach was granted an injunction by Judge James F. Madden of the New Jersey Superior Court 40 minutes before the game. The game was delayed for over an hour as Director of Officiating, John McCauley (Ref Wes McCauleys father) pleaded with Newell to work the game. When McCauleys efforts to broker a truce failed the off-ice crew was pressed into service as replacement officials. Devils goal judges Paul McInnis and Vin Godleski served as referee and linesman, respectively, while Jim Sullivan from the NY Islanders crew worked as the second linesman. They officiated while wearing bright yellow practice jerseys. Jake, it appears that the Australian League uses one Referee and two Linesmen. When we worked under that system there were several times we were forced to finish the game with just two Officials on the ice due to injury. One Saturday night in the Montreal Forum Linseman Ron "The Bear" Asselstine and I worked two full periods when Wayne Forsey blew a groin at the end of the first period. It was a tough game and Hall of Fame defenceman and class act, Larry Robinson was quoted by Red Fischer in the Montreal Gazette as suggesting the First Stars of the game were Fraser and Asselstine for such a fine job while playing a man short! Finally I have to provide details of an incident that demonstrates Los Angeles Kings Coach Darryl Sutters intensity and focus on winning. He was behind the Chicago bench as the Hawks played host to Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis and the Pittsburgh Penguins in an afternoon game televised on ESPN. The Hawks were on the power-play midway through the third period with the game tied when Tony Amonte deflected a puck up into my face. The puck broke my nose, fractured my tooth and cut my upper lip. As I stopped play blood from the cut sprayed out of my whistle. The game couldnt continue until I received some quick repairs. I approached Coach Sutter at the Hawk bench and advised him that the game would be suspended until I was stitched up. With a look of frustration on his face Sutter rubbed his chin and said, "Holy F Kerry, hurry up and get back, were pressin!" The Hawks doctor put seven quick stitches in my lip to close up the cut and I finished the game blowing the whistle out of the side of my mouth. The show must go on! . Brazilian national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has confirmed that the veteran goalkeeper is set to join Toronto on loan, saying it will help him be ready for the World Cup. . With his new coach and six-time Grand Slam singles champion Boris Becker watching him during an official match for the first time, Djokovic appeared tentative early against the Slovakian player, who often appeared content to keep the ball in play. . -- The Bishops Gaiters are showing they belong among the countrys top varsity football teams. Realizing what a special superstar hes become in the pros, its amazing to look back at?Kawhi Leonards numbers from San Diego State. The Spurs star shot just 25 percent from 3-point range while competing in the Mountain West Conference, yet was fourth in the NBA last season at 44.3 percent from beyond the arc.However, the key reason we love Leonard as a fantasy basketball asset isnt his awesome improvement in shooting touch, but rather his amazing statistical diversity, namely his defensive exploits. Leonard is currently averaging an astounding (albeit unsustainable) five steals during his first two games.Having led the league in steals per game in 2014-15, Leonards current perch atop the league in larceny appears legitimate. Its also very possible his reign over the Player Rater could be sustainable if this seasons surge in offensive volume continues. Its easy to forget that Leonard just turned 25 this past June and enjoyed a massive 28.4 percent leap in scoring from 2014-15 to last season. Leonard is again enjoying a steep ascent on offense both in terms of shot volume and, more significantly, from the free throw line.As I wrote this past June, The playoffs confirmed for me that Leonard is a surefire top-five fantasy selection for 2016-17 drafts. In fact, Leonard ended up going seventh, on average, in ESPN drafts this fall. My lofty opinion of Leonard was due to his increasing offensive workload and his teams reliance on him -- and not LaMarcus Aldridge?--?as its chief creator in the postseason.With Tim Duncan retired and significant mileage on Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, this is undoubtedly Leonards team. For those that landed Leonard late in the first round, you just might have netted a dark horse candidate for the top overall fantasy asset this season.After perusing the upcoming week of the NBA schedule below, be sure to check out our trendspotting notes, as we delve into a number of rising players and intriguing trends.Access the downloadable forecaster chart PDF hereMatchup ratings are based on a scale from 1 (poor matchup) to 10 (excellent matchup). These are calculated using a formula that evaluates the teams year-to-date and past 10 games statistics, their opponents numbers in those categories and their performance in home/road games depending on where the game is to be played. The column to the left lists the teams total number of games scheduled, as well as home games, and lists the overall rating from 1-10 for that teams weekly schedule.Ratings roundupFor those playing in weekly head-to-head leagues, maximizing games played can prove paramount to almost all other factors. Even if your opponent hoards greater overall talent, you can surpass them statistically if you can guarantee more games in your weekly profile. When it comes to streaming players, then, we should look to identify teams with busy schedules.The Sacramento Kings, for example, lead the NBA with five games this week. Its rare to find a five-game stretch in a given slate, so this makes shares of guys like Ty Lawson, averaging more than 35 minutes as the substitute starter at point guard, and even Matt Barnes?and his 27 minutes per game somewhat attractive as rentals for the week ahead. The Atlanta Hawks enjoy a strong rating this week thanks to three home games out of four contests in total. They have inviting meetings with the likes of the fast-paced Lakers, Kings and Rockets. The?Cleveland Cavaliers play just three games this week, but its nice to see that they only play up-tempo opponents. That could extract increased exposure and output from LeBron James and his fellow stars.As for some of the weaker profiles this week, the Brooklyn Nets face a series of capable defensive teams prone to slowing the pace. The Charlotte Hornets play just two games this coming week, making them an avoidable source for streaming given such a limited slate. Similarly, the Miami Heat are limited to two games with one coming against the down-tempo, defensive-minded Raptors.Surging in CharlotteMichael Kidd-Gilchrist could serve as an awesome approximation of Leonard if you missed out on him in drafts. While he doesnt possess Leonards shooting touch, its nice to see such rich rebound and steal potential from the versatile forward after he played in just seven games last season. A gifted rebounder for his position, MKG enjoyed a league-high 30 rebounding chances in the season opener, which are defined as being within 3.5 feet of an available board.With nearly 35 minutes played in the first game and available in half of ESPN leagues as of press time, Kidd-Gilchrist is a strong early waiver warrior to consider for your player portfolio. With real defensive prowess and upside in steals and even blocks, this forgotten forward could prove to be quite valuable this season.Myles aheadOne fear for the Pacers Myles Turner was a potential lack of minutes on an increasingly deep roster. Yet, with 37 minutes played and 19 field goal attempts in Indianas first game, its clear hes a priority player on the new-look roster.Tabbed as a breakout candidate for this season, Turner led the NBA playoffs last summer with 3.3 blocks per game and a Whiteside-like block rate of 9.8 percent. Turners per-36 rates of 16.3 points, 8.7 boards and 2.3 blocks from his rookie campaign suggest increased minutes could propel fantasy stardom for the second-year big man.Croatian impactIll be writing a waiver wire column which debuts on Sunday but, as a preview, heres a widely available asset to admire early this season. Its?Dario Saric?of the 76ers, who could provide helpful numbers as a key rotation cog. The rookie enjoyed 20 rebounding chances in his debut thanks to his playing nearly 28 minutes.We saw his knack for playmaking emerge for Croatia in the Olympics this past August, and he might have the steadiest minutes profile of Philadelphias collection of big men. Even though he struggled from the field, there is upside found in his exposure rates (12 shots and the strong minutes). Saric is a name to watch in the early weeks of the season. 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