Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Terry Gregson, after 34 years in the league – including 25 as an on-ice official – has retired.
“Terry had the unique ability to expertly manage the 78-man NHL officiating team,” NHL senior vice president Colin Campbell said in a statement. “His tireless efforts behind the scenes to ensure that NHL officiating was the best it could be on a nightly basis were seldom recognized publicly, but we greatly appreciate his dedication to the game both on and off the ice for the past 33 years.”
Our friends at Puck Daddy found some less glowing comments on his tenure:
Under his watch, standards of enforcement on several penalties slipped, despite his labeling modern NHL officiating as there being “less gray area than there used to be.” Not to mention the scourge embellishment that has turned farcical in recent years. Gregson’s tenure had vocal critics, but that comes with the territory
Stephen Walkom, last seen officiating in Game 4 of the Bruins 4-game sweep over the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final has returned to his post as NHL Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating. Walkom previously held this role from 2005-2009. He stepped down in order to return to on ice, day to day as a refreree. Now, four years (and XXX games) older, he’s headed back to the corner office.
From the NHL:
“We are fortunate to have someone with Stephen’s on- and off-ice experience ready to step in to this position,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “From 2005 to 2009, Stephen provided tremendous direction and guidance to our team of officials as the League implemented several rule changes that brought more flow and speed to our game. That management experience, combined with the fact that he has been back on the ice as a referee for the last four years, will be of tremendous benefit to the League and the game.”
The 49-year-old native of North Bay, Ontario, who joined the NHL officiating ranks in 1990, Walkom has been one of the NHL’s top-ranked referees for the last several years. He refereed a total of 965 regular season and 139 Stanley Cup playoff games. He also worked the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and 2004 World Cup of Hockey as well as the 2002, 2004, 2010 and 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Walkom served on the Executive Board of the NHL Officials’ Association from 1993 to 2005, including a term as President before joining the League’s front office in 2005.
Walkom has consistently reached the highest level of officiating in various leagues throughout his career. He has worked in the Memorial Cup Final (Canadian Major Junior), Turner Cup Final (International Hockey League) and Calder Cup Final (American Hockey League).