Maple Leafs get a controversial referee for Game 3.
Ludvig Thunman/Bildbyran/Zuma  

Maple Leafs get a controversial referee for Game 3.

The Toronto Maple Leafs aren't likely to be thrilled when they learn who will be officiating tonight's game.

Jonathan Larivee

It's shocking that the National Hockey League has not yet addressed what appears to be a glaring conflict of interest, and unfortunately for the Toronto Maple Leafs that conflict of interest will be rearing its ugly head in Game 3.

According to a report from National Hockey League insider Chris Johnston, referees Wes McCauley and Dan O'Rourke will get the call for Game 3 tonight between the aforementioned Maple Leafs and the Florida Panthers. The issue here of course is the inclusion of Wes McCauley who, has not only become a reviled figure in the city of Toronto, but who is also a man with a very real conflict on interest here.

McCauley and Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe have a history of getting into it with one another and a huge problem with that involves a potential familial conflict on interest. You see Sheldon Keefe was a noted critic of former hockey agent David Frost during his early years in the sport of hockey, and that same David Frost is the brother-in-law of referee Wes McCauley. Keefe on the other hand was a close friend and former teammate of Mike Danton, a former NHL player that spent several years in jail for a conspiracy to murder Frost.

You can see how this gets very ugly, very fast.

This of course is not evidence that McCauley is somehow biased against the Maple Leafs, but that this potential conflict of interest even exists is a major issue for many outside observers.