Welcome aboard, boys.
Referee Dan Kelly and linesman Kyle Flemington have been signed to NHL contracts for the 2019-20 season.
The newest NHL zebras have joined the league just in time for officials’ training camp, which is slated to kick off September 7th in Buffalo, New York.
Kelly and Flemington worked in the AHL last season. Both joined the Ontario Hockey League as officials in 2018 after concluding their playing careers in the league. Kelly suited up with the Kitchener Rangers while Flemington saw time with the London Knights, Sarnia Sting, and Saginaw Spirit.
Kelly, 30, spent seven seasons in the AHL (2010-2017), picking up 15 goals, 56 assists, and 651 penalty minutes in 405 career games with the Albany Devils and San Jose Barracuda.
Flemington, 27, played one season in the ECHL, splitting time between the Wheeling Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets.
Typically, newly-hired referees work primarily in the AHL for the upcoming season, with a chance at an NHL debut late in the season. Linesmen are offered a ’40-40′ contract that sees them split time between the AHL and NHL.
The retirements of NHL referee Brad Watson and NHL linesmen Tim Nowak and Lonnie Cameron created opportunities for the promotion of three existing NHL/AHL officials. Those moves – which have not yet been announced – opened the door for Kelly and Flemington.
We’ll await further word on additional NHL officiating moves in advance of the 2019-20 NHL season.