The NHL has selected the referees and linesmen working the 2023 Stanley Cup Final between the Florida Panthers and the Vegas Golden Knights.  Five referees and five linesmen have made the cut to work the final round:



  • Steve Kozari #40 – 4th Stanley Cup Final
  • Wes McCauley #4 – 10th Stanley Cup Final
  • Dan O’Rourke #9 – 6th Stanley Cup Final
  • Chris Rooney #5 – 6th Stanley Cup Final
  • Kelly Sutherland #11 – 10th Stanley Cup Final

First-Timers: None

Out from Conference Finals: Trevor Hanson, Jean Hebert, Chris Lee



  • Steve Barton #59 – 3rd Stanley Cup Final
  • Scott Cherrey #50 – 5th Stanley Cup Final
  • Brad Kovachik #71 – 5th Stanley Cup Final
  • Kiel Murchison #79 – 3rd Stanley Cup Final
  • Jonny Murray #95 – 6th Stanley Cup Final

First-Timers: None

Out from Conference Finals: David Brisebois, Matt MacPherson, Bevan Mills


What’s Different for the Stanley Cup Final?

There are two differences from the earlier rounds. 

First, there are no standby refs and linesmen. While there will be backup officials on standby – one referee and one linesman – at each game, those will come from the pool of officials selected to work the Cup Final. 

Second, officials will no longer be paired up. With the league moving to five refs and five linesmen for the Cup Final a few seasons back, expect a different pairing of refs each night throughout the series.  The same official will come back up in the series, but likely with a different partner.  Of course, all bets are off for a Game 7, when the rotation gets thrown out the window in favor of the four best officials. 


Who Made – and Missed –  The Cut?

One ref pairing had seen both officials move on to the Final: McCauley/O’Rourke. Kozari, Rooney, and Sutherland all lost their partners – Lee, Hebert, and Hanson, respectively.  That might not matter, as the pairs will be broken up for the final round of the playoffs.  

McCauley, Rooney, and Sutherland are returning from the 2022 Final; O’Rourke’s last trip was in 2021, while Kozari’s most recent Final appearance came in 2020. 

Referee Chris Rooney is the only American-born official moving on to the Stanley Cup Final. 

Hanson and Hebert, neither of whom advanced, both had solid postseasons. Hebert worked last season’s Stanley Cup Final, while Hanson was looking to make his Final debut. Tough call to see them both sidelined.

Linesmen David Brisebois and Matt MacPherson both worked the Panthers/Hurricanes game that saw two goals overturned for offside challenges; neither moved on to the Cup Final.


Playoff Payouts

The officials moving on all get a nice playoff bonus. Referees and Linesmen are paid by round – not by game – in the playoffs. Referees earn $27,000 and linesmen $17,250, so advancing is not only a big honor, but a financial bump.  Standby referees earn $1,000 for being on call, with an increase to $2,750 if they get into the game; linesmen pick up a $650 check which jumps to $1,775 if they take the ice.  In the Cup Final, though, all the officials on standby will come from the pool of Final officials not working that night. 

Referees selected to work the Stanley Cup Final have tacked on an additional $108,000 this postseason, with Cup Final linesmen earning an extra $69,000.  Nice. 


The 2023 Stanley Cup Final gets underway on Saturday, June 3 in Las Vegas.

Congratulations to the NHL Referees and Linesmen selected to work the 2023 Stanley Cup Final!