The Montreal Canadiens took a moment after their 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets to offer their best to a pair of retiring NHL officials.
Referee Brad Watson and linesman Tim Nowak received a nice send-off by the Habs’ players, who took a moment to shake hands with both officials before leaving the ice.
Watson and Nowak are both set to retire at the end of the season.
Watson, 57, in his 23rd NHL Season, has worn the stripes for 1,587 NHL games – 1,373 in the regular season along with 214 in the postseason. Watson, from Regina, Saskatchewan, has worked eight Stanley Cup Finals (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014) as well as the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Nowak, 51, made his NHL debut in 1993. Through 25 seasons, he’s officiated 1,712 regular season games along with 114 playoff appearances. The Buffalo, New York, native has also taken the ice for the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, 2003 All-Star Game, 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and Winter Olympics in both 2002 (Salt Lake City) and 2010 (Vancouver).
The New York Rangers offered a similar gesture to Watson when he visited Madison Square Garden in January.
Nice to see the Canadiens taking a moment to honor these two officials in what may be their last game at the Bell Centre.