NHL referee Brad Watson is among the referees and linesmen selected to work the 2018 Spengler Cup tournament. The veteran official was named to work the tournament, which runs from December 26-31. Watson has officiated 1,338 NHL regular season games during his 22-year career, along with 214 playoff matches. The native of Regina, Saskatchewan, has refereed eight Stanley Cup Finals as well as the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
KHL referee Roman Gofman has also been tapped for the event. Gofman has handled over 460 KHL games along with plenty of international competition, including the 2018 Winter Olympics and the past five IIHF World Championships.
2018 Spengler Cup Referees
Brad Watson (NHL), Roman Gofman (KHL), Micha Hebeisen (SUI), Daniel Stricker (SUI), Marc Wiegand (SUI)
2018 Spengler Cup Linesmen
Franco Castelli (SUI), Dario Fuchs (SUI), David Obwegeser (SUI), Marc-Henri Progin (SUI), Simon Wüst (SUI)
Referee Daniel Stricker (2015, 2017) and Marc Wiegand (2014, 2016) both have previous Spengler Cup experience, as do linesmen David Obwegeser (2016, 2017) and Simon Wüst (2016). Referee Micha Hebeisen and linesmen Franco Castelli, Dario Fuchs, and Marc-Henri Progin are all making their Spengler Cup debuts.
The Spengler Cup, held each December in Davos, Switzerland, is an international tournament where six teams compete for the coveted trophy. This year’s clubs include last year’s winner, Team Canada, as well as the host team, HC Davos. They’ll be battling the KHL’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk, who won the Spengler Cup in their previous tournament appearance back in 2005, HC Oceláři Třinec from the Czech Republic, Finland’s KalPa Kuopio Hockey Oy and the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers of Germany.
Watson becomes the third NHL referee who has headed over to work the Spengler Cup prior to his retirement. Mike Leggo worked the 2016 Spengler Cup in his final season; Greg Kimmerly headed over to don the stripes in 2015 before hanging up the skates at the end of the 2015-16 NHL season. Watson has said previously that this would be his final season in the NHL.
Two current NHL officials worked the Spengler Cup prior to suiting up in the NHL. Referee Kendrick Nicholson worked the 2014 Spengler Cup, while Graham Skilliter worked the 2012 tournament. Former NHL referee Mark Lemelin, then working in Switzerland’s EBEL, took part in the 2017 tournament.
Congratulations on the officials selected to work the 2018 Spengler Cup!