As sports fans we are all predisposed to thinking that the refs and umpires suck copious amounts of ass across all sports. And more specifically, we always think that certain refs are out to get your favorite team. You're not a real sports fan until you've complained at least 17 times throughout a season about the league hating your favorite team and the refs constantly trying to screw you over.
Then you go from complaining about how the refs treat your favorite team to then complaining about the officials in your favorite sport. It always seems like there's a pissing match to see which league has the worst refs. Football fans will fight to the death defending the notion that they have the worst officials. Baseball fans will fight to the death defending that they have the worst officials. Basketball fans will fight to the death using nothing but Joey Crawford videos as weaponry. And NHL fans will go back to game 7 of last year's first round matchup between San Jose and Vegas.
But as far as the relationship between players and officials go, the NHL has it the best. Because unlike in any other sport, the players and refs can just scream "fuck you" back and forth to each other all night without anyone getting tossed from the game. And that's awesome.
Sure, they might get pissed off at each other all the time but nobody's feelings get hurt. Nobody takes it super personally. Everyone realizes its the heat of the moment and they just want to get a few quick "fuck you's" off their chest to make themselves feel better about the situation.
In baseball you can't even look at an umpire the wrong way without getting tossed from the game. NBA refs will T you up so hard if you even think about questioning a call. Then everyone gets to the locker room after the game and bitches about how the game was called because they never got a chance to actually hash it out during the game.
But in the NHL? You just tell the ref to go fuck himself, he tells you to go fuck yourself, then a few minutes later once everything has settled down he'll go over and actually explain the call to you, and then everyone moves on with the rest of their night. No need for anyone to get demoted or anything. But that only happens if you have officials who can take it as much as they can give it. Which, for some reason or another, simply do not seem to exist outside of hockey.