According to a report from former Sportsnet hockey insider John Shannon, the NHL has chosen its officials for the upcoming Return to Play format, with 10 linesman and 10 referees reporting to each hub city (Edmonton and Toronto) for a total of 40 officials who will work the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Check it out:
NHL will put 10 referees and 10 linesmen in each hub city...40 officials in total...in the same isolation as all the players...enough bodies for 3 games a day plus standby.
That's where they will start for the play-in and rounds 1 and 2.
It's not known when the officials will be obligated to report to their hub city, but the expectation is that they'll travel ahead of the NHL players who are expected to travel to either Edmonton or Toronto on July 26th. The NHL has marked Saturday, August 1st as its official opening of the modified 24 team Stanley Cup Playoff format. Of course, as the playoffs progress there will be fewer and fewer games needing fewer and fewer officials. It remains to be seen how the league will handle that process, but it will likely be a merit and experience based system as it has used in the past.
Not one to ever be outdone on a scoop, TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie managed to track down the NHL's officiating assignments.
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Interestingly enough, controversial NHL referee Tim Peel is Not included in the NHL's Return to Play plan. Read into that however you like, but it should be noted that the veteran Peel missed a significant portion of the 2019-20 season after suffering an ankle injury. It's believed that he has now fully recovered, however. Interestingly enough though, Peel has gone on record before saying that he plans to retire after the 2020-21 NHL season.
It's also worth noting that another prominent referee, Wes McCauley, will be assigned to the Eastern Conference play in and playoffs in Toronto. Frankly, I cannot WAIT to see a classic Wes McCauley dramatic goal/no goal call in the playoffs.
I mean... how can you not absolutely LOVE this guy:
Both players... two minutes... FOR FIGHTING!