The game necessitates a high level of speed. A team could get away with having a few sluggish defensemen in the early days of the sport. However, games have become so fast-paced at all levels that offensive and defensive roles are frequently flipped, and defensemen may find themselves in the middle of the action. Slower players must possess other qualities to form a team; for example, they must check properly to prevent the other players from getting past them. However, because every player on the unit controls the puck at some point throughout a game, puck-carrying skill is valued highly. The player in possession of the puck is in command, and the play can only move as rapidly as he directs it. Centre Due to his superb puck handling and precise shooting and passing, Wayne Gretzky was the leading scorer in the NHL for most of the 1980s while playing for the Edmonton Oilers.
Two referees, two linesmen, and other off-ice officials oversee all NHL games and most international games (most collegiate games use only one referee). The NHL permits officials off the field to watch the footage and decide the legality of a goal. Still, referees are responsible for calling penalties and are the final arbiters of whether a goal has been scored. Offsides and icing infractions are called by linesmen, who may also halt play to warn a referee that a team has too many players on the ice. Two referees with no linesmen or two referees with one linesman are employed in some collegiate games in the United States. One of the officials serves as the final arbiter of conflicts. The IIHF sanctions the two-referee system for games governed by national federations. The goal judges are stationed behind each cage in a high booth behind the boards, and when they observe the puck past the goal line, they turn a switch that stops the clock and activates a red light. The penalty timekeeper, game timekeeper, and official scorer are the other officials. The official scorer rewards players for goals and assists while also keeping account of the goalie’s saves or stops.