Welcome to the show, kid.
Linesman Kyle Flemington will be making his NHL debut tonight in Chicago. He’ll take the ice as the Blackhawks host the Columbus Blue Jackets, alongside linesman Shandor Alphonso and referees Francis Charron and Pierre Lambert.
Flemington, 27, transitioned from player to official after attending the NHL’s Officiating Combine in 2017. He was hired by the NHL prior to the start of the 2019-20 season after officiating two seasons in the AHL and OHL. He’ll split time between the AHL and NHL this season.
From the NHLOA:
The native of Parkhill, Ontario is a former Canadian professional hockey player. The 6 foot 7 defenseman played parts of 4 seasons in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) where he suited up for a total of three different teams; the Saginaw Spirit, the Sarnia Sting and the London Knights. He spent his final year of junior in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) with the St. Marys Lincolns and the St. Thomas Stars.
After his junior days were over, Flemington took a year off to reflect on his playing career and started a police foundation diploma at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. He would go on and lace his skates again the following year playing a handful of games with the Petrolia Squires in the Western Ontario Athletic Association (WOAA).
In the summer of 2014, his girlfriend at the time and now fiancé, decided to move to London, England to become a teacher which had Flemington explore the possibilities of playing some pro-hockey overseas. This was not only a great way for him to travel other parts of the world but it would also at the same time give him a chance to to play some high quality hockey once again. He signed a contract with the Edinburgh Capitals in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) that season and ended up playing a total of two full seasons for the team. He returned to North America the following year where he played his final professional season (2016-17) in the ECHL, skating for the Wheeling Nailers and the Fort Wayne Komets.
Knowing that his playing days were now mostly over after that season and looking for another way to stay involved in the game, Flemington decided to attended the 2017 NHL Officiating Combine in Buffalo, NY that summer. His strong showing at the combine and the excitement of a new personal challenge officially had him trading his stick for a whistle for the upcoming season. He spent the 2017-18 season working as a linesman in the OHL and in the American Hockey League (AHL). Flemington attended the annual summer NHL Officiating Combine for a second time in the summer of 2019 where this time he was offered an NHL Minor League linesman contract at the age of 27.
During his playing career, Flemington was teammates with a handful of current NHLers, including Max Domi, Vincent Trocheck, Bo Horvat, Vlad Namestnikov, Alex Galchenyuk, and Austin Watson. Now he’ll join them in the National Hockey League.
Congratulations to linesman Kyle Flemington on his first NHL game.