NHL officials aren’t immune from the injury bug. A handful of officials have missed time this season, including a few still on the mend.
Linesman Steve Barton returned from injury in October. The veteran linesman suffered a knee injury during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs that required offseason surgery.
“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 officiated a pair of AHL games before returning to NHL duty on October 23, working a game between the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens. Barton, 46, has officiated 1,148 NHL regular season games along with 84 playoff matches.
Linesman Michel Cormier saw action in one preseason game – a September 17 match between the Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils. Cormier completed the game, even waving off an icing in the waning seconds of the game, alongside linesman Derek Nansen and referees Wes McCauley and Pierre Lambert. There’s no word on his injury and no timetable on his return.
Referee Chris Lee has been out all season. Lee’s last action came last April 3, working Coyotes vs. Flames in Arizona. Word is that he’ll be back on the ice later this season; watch for a return near the end of the year. The New Brunswick native is looking to add to his career totals of 1,083 regular season games and 67 playoff matches.
Linesman Vaughan Rody is recovering from an upper-body injury that kept him out of the postseason. There’s no word on his tentative return date.
AHL/NHL Linesman Bevan Mills last took the ice on October 10. No word on any injury, but we’ll await his return to the ice.
Referee Garrett Rank was injured during a game on October 14. He left the game during the third period after getting hit by the puck on a dump-in by San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. The remainder of the game was officiated by the three-man crew of referee Tom Chmielewski and linesmen David Brisebois and Jesse Marquis. Rank was back on the ice a few days later, appearing to suffer no long-term effects of the injury.
Referee Garrett Rank is unlikely to return to the Sharks/Devils game due to an upper-body injury. The game shall continue with three officials.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 14, 2018
Another official also left a game due to injury but avoided missing time.
Linesman Darren Gibbs left the October 6 game between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. The veteran was back in the officiating lineup when the Detroit Red Wings visited the Los Angeles Kings two days later.
Linesman Darren Gibbs is unlikely to return to the @SanJoseSharks / @LAKings game due to an undisclosed injury. The game shall continue with three officials.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 6, 2018
Here’s hoping we’ll see Cormier, Lee, Mills, and Rody back on the ice soon.