Nick Ahlfeld, Massena, N.Y.
I love that the NHL has given microphones to the referees so they can communicate calls to fans at the game and fans watching on TV.
With the microphones, fans and broadcasters do not have to interpret a penalty call via replay and wait for confirmation from the PA announcer.
I think this makes fans feel closer to the game wherever they are watching. However, I watch a lot of hockey and it seems that when a referee is preparing to announce a call using the microphone, far too often, the microphone does not work.
The referee reaches to his side to turn it on, says some things no one can hear and makes the appropriate motion with his hands.
When the microphone works, I think it helps make the game more interesting to watch for the average fan. When it doesn't work, it certainly doesn't make the NHL look awesome.
So, I think the NHL needs to do something to perfect this system. Who knows? If they do, maybe they will get a few new diehard fans.