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‘Call the rulebook’: Oilers’ Connor McDavid asks for consistency from NHL referees


Few NHLers can draw penalties the way Connor McDavid does. That’s something he’s advocating continues to happen — and ideally at an even greater rate.

Opponents were called 29 times for impeding McDavid during his historically productive regular season that saw him rack up 105 points in just 56 games. Per Natural Stat Trick, only Senators winger Brady Tkachuk drew more calls — five more than McDavid.

However, McDavid infamously couldn’t get the referees to raise their arms and blow their whistles in his favour come playoff time.

He didn’t draw a single penalty when the Oilers were swept by the Jets; McDavid played 211 minutes in the series, more than 167 of which at even strength. The year before, Chicago was called for a penalty infraction against McDavid just once in four games in the best-of-five series.

“You obviously want to call the rulebook,” he said Tuesday. “That’s what it’s there for. If you call each and every one, there’s lots of penalties. But if there’s lots of penalties, there’s lots of penalties — that’s just the way it is.

“The rulebook’s there for a reason and you want to call it with integrity. If you let guys get away with certain things, they’re going to keep getting away with it. It’s a tough job (the referees have), and it’s something that I don’t envy.”

McDavid was fourth among NHL forwards in ice time during the regular season, averaging 22:09 per game.





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