Steve Barton is close to returning to the National Hockey League.

The veteran linesman was injured during a first-round playoff game between the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets.



“Steve suffered a dislocated knee cap and a torn quadriceps which will require surgery,” said Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s Director of Officiating. “Fortunately, doctors told him this is the type of injury that you recover back to 100 percent.”

Barton’s almost there.

He’s expected to man the lines for a handful of games in the American Hockey League before a likely return to the NHL next week.  He’ll be taking the ice Friday for a game between the Springfield Thunderbirds and Laval Rocket in Quebec.  Barton will suit up alongside AHL linesman Francis Trempe and referees Jason Faist and Michael Markovic.

Barton, 46, has officiated 1,142 NHL regular season games along with 84 playoff matches.  The native of Vankleek Hill, Ontario, reached the 1000-game milestone in 2016.

Glad to see Barton back on his skates, and looking forward to his NHL return.