January 12, 2010
Following up last night's story about a missing replay that may have validated a discounted Philadelphia Flyers' goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins last week: Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh has indefinitely suspended veteran producer Lowell MacDonald, Jr., whose father played for the Penguins from 1970-1978.
Via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette comes this statement from FSN Pittsburgh, which made the decision independent from the NHL's own investigation into the matter:
"There is nothing more important than the integrity of the game. During last Thursday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers, a definitive replay of a Flyers goal was not aired prior to the conclusion of the official review and, as a result, a Flyers goal was not awarded. Fortunately, this did not change the outcome of the game. Nonetheless, FSN Pittsburgh's failure to provide video to the league officials in a timely fashion was wholly unacceptable. FSN Pittsburgh has addressed this matter and has taken steps to ensure that such a failure does not occur again."
Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review tried to reach MacDonald Jr., to no avail, and reports that he "has been with FSN Pittsburgh since 2006 after previously serving as lead NHL producer for ESPN and working on broadcasts of Buffalo Sabres games." Check out this 2003 article on MacDonald for more about his Pittsburgh roots.
We suppose congratulations are in order for FSN being proactive in the matter ... and yet we imagine anyone with a vested interest in this situation, and in the integrity of the NHL's replay review system, might feel a tad unsatisfied here.
The network hasn't explicitly explained how a definitive replay miraculously appeared on its airwaves moments after the puck dropped to resume play, yet failed to materialize in the Toronto War Room. That vagueness, combined with this personnel decision, points to something nefariously premeditated occurring in the control room, at least in our warped little minds.
A candid explanation from FSN would either confirm or contradict that thinking, quite quickly. Perhaps the NHL could provide one with its own investigation ... provided it hasn't ended the moment FSN handled matters in-house. In any case, hopefully the full story doesn't disappear like the puck behind Brent Johnson(notes).
Thanks to Puck Buddy "digitahighlander" for the heads-up.