The National Hockey League will be without one of its top referees for the foreseeable future as he recovers from what we now know is a rather serious injury.
Referee Kevin Pollock was injured during Game 3 between the Boston Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes, but it was a moment that many have missed due to another injury that happened at the exact same moment. You see Pollock was struck in the face by a puck just seconds after Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov suffered a serious injury of his own, one that may keep him out for the remainder of the playoffs. Pollock was in the background of that incident and you can just barely make out him getting hit by the puck behind the fallen Svechnikov, but as I have stated Pollock's injury has proved to be rather serious as well.
Initially it sounded like Pollock would attempt to continue pushing through the pain and would referee the remainder of the tournament, this despite the fact that it was reported he had required 15 stitches to repair the damage and had also lost several teeth as a result of the incident. I just want to take a moment here to recognize just what a bad ass Kevin Pollock is for trying to continue in the tournament despite these injuries, it turns out hockey might have the toughest players AND the toughest referees in all of pro sports. Despite Pollock's toughness though it is now confirmed that he will not be participating in the rest of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. Sportsnet Joey Kenward has been able to confirm that Pollock actually suffered a broken jaw and this injury has now forced him to set aside his officiating duties in order to recover from a rough injury.
Although fans tend not to notice referees unless they are doing a poor job there's no question that Pollock is one of the best that the league has to offer. He has been an official at the NHL level for 20 years now and boasts more playoff experience than any other official on the NHL's roster, a big loss at this time of year to be sure.