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Paul Stewart Interview - 93.7 The Fan


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The evening rush show (Starkey and Mueller) were able to get him on today for a very good and insightful interview.  They managed to track him down in Russia where he is traveling between KHL playoff games (without looking it up he is in charge of officiating there?). Some interesting take aways...


- He didn't back down at all of his criticism of Neal (rightfully so).  In fact, it was hard for the hosts to get in their next question.  Apparently there is a longer than normal delay with calls from Russia.


- He's got nothing against Neal personally or the Pens (utmost respect for Lemieux, Shero & Bylsma) but Neal is a perfect example of what he sees as wrong with the NHL and how they administer discipline....


- He brought up Avery, Claude Lemieux and Bertuzzi and said Avery "should have been taken into the stick room and "threatened with his life"...


- He thinks the only way things will get better are changes at the "top" (when asked what it would take).  He mentioned Shanahan and Campbell by name (I think - in a tunnel at this point). He was very critical on the NHL throughout the interview...


- When asked directly by Starkey "Why has the NHL been so lenient with Neal?" he quickly responded with preferential treatment given to star players...


- He backed off his criticism of Crosby somewhat for not taking Neal to task as Captain (which the hosts later said surprised them)...


- He's definitely up on a soap box but he's 100% right and it's clear he is passionate about the issue which is what he sees as a lack of respect among NHL players trickling down into the College, Junior and Youth Hockey ranks.  On a few occasions he mentioned seeing a kid run another kid from behind and after the game the parent is telling the kid what a great job he did...


- He's been heavily involved with hockey at lower levels and mentioned on more than one occasion how kids and young players are emulating what they see in the NHL and what the NHL players get away with and was very critical of parents and coaches who are not doing enough - who are in fact encouraging this type of player - by not handing down proper discipline. .


- He laid part of the blame for this problem at the feet of what he called a culture of acceptance of this type of play in the lower ranks of Canadian hockey...


The guy was an egomaniac when he was an official but he was pretty spot on in his rant and in his interview today - especially with his take on Neal.  Hopefully this gets more media face time as opposed to only making rounds in hockey forums.


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I agree Stewart was part of the problem with the NHL before, but he has it right on Neal. I just can't stand the guy.


I'm 100% with you.  I was never a fan, either.  At least it's not personal for him - just something he passionate about across the board.  Unlike...say....Milbury with his obvious agendas. ;)

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