''You embarrassed the league!'' Messier shouted. In a television interview, Messier said, ''The officiating tonight was a disgrace.'' Later, Messier elaborated, calling for ''repercussions'' against the referee.
''He brought a personal vendetta,'' Messier said, adding that he knew no reason for the alleged vendetta. ''He let that get the best of him. There were obvious, blatant infractions right in front of him that he decided not to call. It became personal for some reason. The whole system broke down, and I think he should have to answer for that.''
Soupy Campbell after Mark Messier accused Don Van Massenhoven of having a vendetta
Instead, the league remained silent. In six games since then, referees have given Ranger opponents about twice as many power plays as they have given New York. This sort of situation festers and creates other problems. Last week in Washington, the Rangers' Wayne Gretzky was slashed by Mike Eagles. No penalty was called.
Was the referee -- in this case, Bill McCreary -- getting even for Messier's embarrassing a colleague and for Gretzky's sometimes complaining too much? Coach Colin Campbell said the Rangers might have to get their own ''retribution.''
''It's serious,'' Campbell said in remarks aired by the MSG network. ''The league might ask me questions about saying this, but I've got players that need protection. And how do you do it? There's lots of ways to do it.''
Now Soupy is talking about Torts making inappropriate comments when his player made similar comments. He never reprimanded Messier. He didn't have the balls. Even Campbell was a ref critic when he coached the Rangers. Now Soupy is the league. All of these guys are off the chain. Shanahan is another lost cause. His reasons for issuing and not issuing suspensions are ridiculous. Craig Janney wants his wife back Shanny.