The NHL has announced the referees and linesmen hitting the ice for the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.
Wes McCauley, Dan O’Halloran, Dan O’Rourke, and Kelly Sutherland
McCauley (#4) is handling his fourth straight Stanley Cup Final, having officiated the championship series from 2013 through 2015. McCauley made his NHL debut in 2003 and has worked 8 Final games.
O’Halloran (#13) is refereeing his ninth career Stanley Cup Final, with all nine coming in the past ten seasons. His only Cup Final absence in the past decade was in 2009, when Devorski, LaRue, McCreary, and Joannette handled the championship series. Coincidentally, that was the season the Penguins last won the Stanley Cup. O’Halloran is in his 20th NHL season and has refereed 24 Final games.
O’Rourke (#9) is officiating his third Cup Final, having worked it in 2011 and 2012. The Calgary native worked the Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014. He comes in with 6 Cup Final games under his belt.
Sutherland (#11) is working his fourth-overall and second-straight Stanley Cup Final after a four-year absence. Prior to 2015, his last Final appearance came in 2011, when he handled the seven-game series between the Bruins and Canucks. The 15-year veteran worked back-to-back Finals in 2010 and 2011. He’s officiated 9 Stanley Cup Final matches. Sutherland also suited up for last year’s Winter Classic, when we had a chance to speak with Sutherland about his career.
These four have been paired up for few games together, which makes sense, since the league seems to keeps its stronger referees separated in the officiating pairings. McCauley and Sutherland worked Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final together. O’Halloran and Sutherland worked Game 7 of the first round series between the Anaheim Ducks and the Nashville Predators. It’s hard to say who’ll be paired up with whom for the Stanley Cup Final.
Derek Amell, Brian Murphy, Jonny Murray, and Pierre Racicot
Amell (#75) is working his third straight Cup Final, fourth in five seasons, and fifth overall (2009, 2012, 2014, 2015). He’s manned the lines for 12 games in the Final.
Murphy (#93) is officiating his eighth Stanley Cup Final (1995, 1996, 2002-2004, 2013, 2015), with 21 Cup Final games over that span.
Murray (#95) is making his second Final appearance. He worked the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, with Conference Final appearances in 2013 and 2014.
Racicot (#65) has nearly been a Stanley Cup Finals regular, with nine appearances. He made his Cup Final debut in 2006. Though he missed the 2014 final, the veteran linesman had a run of six straight Finals appearances (2008-2013), returning in 2015.
Amell and Racicot were paired up in the second and third rounds, though Amell and Murray worked Game 7 between the Lightning and Penguins. Amell also partnered with Murphy for Game 7 of Predators/Ducks. For the Conference Finals, Murray worked with Greg Devorski and Murphy with Brad Kovachik.
All eight officials who’ve moved on have worked a Stanley Cup Final.
Gone are referees Francis Charron, Gord Dwyer, Eric Furlatt, and Brad Watson. Charron and Dwyer were making their first trip to the Conference Finals, so no surprise that they haven’t moved on. Furlatt has made five trips to the Conference Finals but has yet to reach the Stanley Cup Final. Watson has refereed eight Stanley Cup Finals but failed to make the cut in back-to-back seasons.
Linesmen who’ve been eliminated are Michel Cormier, Greg Devorski, Brad Kovachik, and Steve Miller. Of those four, only Cormier has not been to the Stanley Cup Final.
As to how they’re chosen, NHL Director of Officiating Stephen Walkom told the Star-Tribune:
“It’s their presence in a game, it’s their control in tough situations, it’s following the NHL standard, it’s the ability to keep up with the game physically,” said Walkom. “The evaluation is ongoing. At the end of the year, we put together the guys who we consider are performing the best to go into the playoffs. Then each and every round, it gets knocked out so we have our best team of officials in the Cup.”
Congratulations to the officials selected for the NHL’s 2016 Stanley Cup Finals!