Sometimes you need a veteran’s help to show you the ropes. It happens all the time for players. Sidney Crosby spent his first few seasons living with Mario Lemieux. Erik Karlsson stayed with Daniel Alfredsson during his first year. John Tavares with Doug Weight, Evgeni Malkin with Sergei Gonchar, the list goes on and on.
It even happens with officials.
Referee Mike Leggo has spent some time in the AHL this season, helping out the NHL’s newest officials. Most recently, he’s been paired with referee Chris Schlenker. The duo worked two AHL games together this week — a Tuesday game between Bakersfield and San Diego and Thursday’s match between the Stockton Heat and the San Jose Barracuda.
Now they’re moving up to handle Saturday’s NHL game between the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames.
Schlenker made his NHL debut earlier this year after three years officiating in the WHL. He was awarded the Allen Paradice Memorial Trophy as the best referee in the WHL last season.
Leggo, 51, is in his 18th season with the National Hockey League. He made his NHL debut in March 3, 1998, when Schlenker was just 13.