There’s a lot to keep your eyes on as a referee in an NHL game.  Players, sticks, and the puck are all moving around the rink at high speeds.  Especially the puck.

Referee Trevor Hanson may not have lost sight of the puck, but he was unable to get out of its way in last night’s game between the Buffalo Sabres and Phoenix Coyotes.

The rookie referee was positioned low in the corner when Phoenix defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson rang a shot off the crossbar.  The puck deflected right into Hanson’s face.

Hanson headed to the Coyotes bench for a towel, leaving a trail of blood on the ice.  He was helped off the ice for repairs.


Like NHL players, NHL referees are tough.  Hanson was patched up and ready to go for the third period.  He missed just 2:29 of play; veteran referee Dennis LaRue ran the show solo in Hanson’s absence.

Hanson’s in his first year in stripes for the NHL.  This was his seventh career game, and third in four nights.