Referee Don Koharski has his name on the Stanley Cup. Sort of.
Koharski is on there. Twice, in fact. It’s not because of Don, though, or his 1,179 regular season and 246 playoff games – including 11 trips to the Stanley Cup Final – over 32 seasons. It’s not because of his son, Jamie, also a professional hockey referee, with 12 seasons and 860 American Hockey League games.
The Cup-winning Koharski is Don’s daughter-in-law, Liz Koharski, who is the Director of Hockey Administration for the Tampa Bay Lightning. She’s been with the Bolts for 16 seasons. From the Lightning:
Koharski is responsible for all administrative procedures involved in maintaining player and coach contracts as well as the transfers and trades of players. In addition, Koharski prepares written agreements between the Lightning and its minor league affiliates while coordinating correspondence with NHL officers and team executives.
Koho’s not the only referee with his name on the cup thanks to a relative.
Long-time linesman Neil Armstrong spent 21 years in stripes, officiating 1,744 games in the National Hockey League from 1957-1978. He didn’t make the cup, but his son did. Doug Armstrong, general manager of the St. Louis Blues, got the family name engraved on the Stanley Cup after the Blues’ 2019 Cup win.
Of course, some NHL officials have earned their spots on the Cup thanks to their playing or coaching days.
King Clancy won the Stanley Cup six times – three as a player (1923, 1927, 1932) and three as an assistant manager (1962, 1964, 1967). Between his playing career and time behind the bench, Clancy spent 11 years as an NHL referee.
Winger Ray Getliffe has his name on the Cup twice: with the Boston Bruins in 1939 and with the Montreal Canadiens in 1944. After he retired as a player, Getliffe worked two seasons as an National Hockey League official. One of Getliffe’s greatest contributions to hockey may have come while he was on the bench:
“(Elmer) Lach was on the ice with Richard and fed him a lovely pass. Richard got the puck and took off. I leaned over to Murph and said, ‘Wow, Richard took off like a rocket!’
Dink Carroll, he was a sportswriter with the (Montreal) Gazette, heard me and the next day in the paper wrote something about Richard skating like a rocket. It wasn’t too long after that that Dink was using the nickname ‘the Rocket’ when he was writing about Maurice Richard.“
So, yes, there are some referees with their names on the Stanley Cup.