The National Hockey League will be expanding the Stanley Cup Final crew and increasing their officiating roster under the new CBA between the league and its officials.
From Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts at Sportsnet:
Labour peace between the league and the NHLPA helped reach a new CBA with the officials. The NHL’s confidence that a player strike/lockout will be avoided created a path to ease the officials’ greatest concern, compensation during any stoppage.
Also: an additional referee and linesman will be named to the Stanley Cup Final, making five of each.
One additional referee and linesman will be added [to the league’s officiating roster] when Seattle joins in 2021-22
The league has typically named eight officials to work the Stanley Cup Final – four referees and four linesmen. Typically, the pairings alternate games. This past season, the league selected five referees to officiate the Cup Final. One of them, referee Wes McCauley, was unable to take the ice for the series due to an injury suffered during the conference finals.
The NHL has decided to continue that trend, also picking up an additional linesman in the rotation. This will give the league more flexibility in changing things up between crews, as well as some coverage for possible injuries. While the league taps officials to remain on standby throughout the series, they’ll now have another dedicated official to help cover assignments.
The league will also be expanding its officiating roster to coincide with expansion. The NHL currently has 34 full-time referees and 34 full-time linesmen. When Seattle joins the NHL in 2021-22, so will two additional officials, bumping the league’s full-time staff to 35 referees and 35 linesmen.
For 2019-20, there are ten referees working primarily in the AHL on NHL contracts, and five AHL/NHL linesmen who will split time between the two leagues. That number fluctuates season-to-season.