Referee Kelly Sutherland took a moment to welcome the opposing centers before dropping the puck on Wednesday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As Sidney Crosby and Connor Bedard glided to the dot, Sudsy cracked the mic.
“Hey Sid, welcome back for another season. Connor… welcome to the NHL.”
“Okay guys, it’s showtime,” Sutherland added. “Let’s have a great game.”
Crosby offered a ‘good luck’ of his own before cleanly winning the draw.
Many appreciated Sutherland’s quick intro, while others prefer the zebras to stay off the mic.
I don’t like the refs doing that. Sounds like house league. Just drop the puck
— Mick Kern (@expomick) October 11, 2023
Sudsy, who’s often audible through out the games, kept it brief.
The stripes had a bit more to say at the start of the 2022-23 season: