You can feel it: we are on the verge of the 2020 postseason getting kicked off and while we assumed all players will be present, the National Hockey League has finally come to a decision about the referees that will need to handle the games.
As reporter John Shannon points out, the National Hockey League has put together a plan to have 10 referees and 10 linesmen in each hub city, which means 20 officials in Toronto, and 20 more in Edmonton for a total of 40 for the tournament, which means enough bodies for three contests a day, as Bob McKenzie explained in the schedule plan in last night’s Insider Trading on TSN.
The officials will need to follow the same isolation rules as the players, and will need to be available according to the schedule.
“That’s where they will start for the play-in and rounds 1 and 2.”
Shannon does not say if the referees and linesmen will have the same privilege as the players, meaning if they will be able to decline the offer to come and handle games in the hub cities for personal reasons.
However, we can assume that if players are allowed to bring their families along, officials would have the same right to do so.
We would love to see Wes McCauley back in action, there’s no doubt about it. However, some teams will want to skip on tougher referees like Justin St. Pierre or Tim Peel, who are often named as the most controversial refs in the league.