The NHL’s plans for completing the 2019-20 season are taking form. We’ve got the teams, the brackets, and now the starting date: August 1.

The teams will be split between two cities.  So will the officials.  But exactly how will the league determine which ref goes where?

Simple. Institute a ref draft.

Each hub city will have 10 referees and 10 linesmen. Let’s leave it up to the teams to see who ends up where.  Here’s how we’d like to see it work:

NHL Ref Draft Rules

  • Teams will draft to select the 10 referees and 10 linesmen working in their hub city.
  • Draft picks will alternate between Hub City A (Eastern Conference) and Hub City B (Western Conference).
  • Draft order is based on the team’s regular season points percentage.


NHL Ref Draft Order

Round 1:

  1. Boston Bruins (Hub City A)
  2. St. Louis Blues (Hub City B)
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning (A)
  4. Colorado Avalanche (B)
  5. Washington Capitals (A)
  6. Vegas Golden Knights (B)
  7. Philadelphia Flyers (A)
  8. Dallas Stars (B)
  9. Pittsburgh Penguins (A)
  10. Edmonton Oilers (B)
  11. Carolina Hurricanes (A)
  12. Nashville Predators (B)
  13. New York Islanders (A)
  14. Vancouver Canucks (B)
  15. Toronto Maple Leafs (A)
  16. Calgary Flames (B)
  17. Columbus Blue Jackets (A)
  18. Winnipeg Jets (B)
  19. Florida Panthers (A)
  20. Minnesota Wild (B)
  21. New York Rangers (A)
  22. Arizona Coyotes (B)
  23. Montreal Canadiens (A)
  24. Chicago Blackhawks (B)

Round 2 of the draft would continue through team 16, at which time all playoff officials would have been selected.

It’d be interesting to see what strategies team may employ. Do they look at their record under certain officials?  Do they pick guys who favor their style of play?  Or do they work out a deal with a team in the other conference to keep a certain official in the other hub city?


Come on, NHL. With no action on the ice, let’s make things interesting off it!

We’d be tuning in for sure.