Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
No one likes someone who blows the whistle, but it was pretty difficult not to like former NHL referee Art Skov.
The genial Skov, 80, died Sunday after suffering through declining health in recent years.
“He was a real players’ referee,” said retired NHL linesman Matt Pavelich, who worked many a game with his fellow Windsorite.
“He did his job well and he was well respected by everyone in the game. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard someone saw anything bad about Art.”
from Mike Leggo at NHLOfficials.com,
How do you say farewell to a legend? How do you put into words a larger than life character that most hockey fans feel they already know? How do you reveal the private man behind the celebrated Officer Koharski in the movie Wayne’s World, the foil in the famous doughnut episode? That’s the conundrum, trying to describe our friend, Koho.
The hockey world knows about the well publicized larger than life Don Koharski - NHL referee – irrepressible, sometimes awash in hockey headlines, sometimes not, cheerful and always steady. Others know him as the friendly neighbor, the charity minded citizen, the golfer and pal. To us fortunate members of the NHL officiating fraternity he is all of that and more. Our Koho is a mentor, a guide, an example, a teammate, a competitor, an athlete, a father figure, a brother and a friend.
picture via NHL.com
Elliott Friedman did another great interview with retiring referee Don Koharski last night in the ‘Inside Hockey’ segment of the HNIC pre-game show.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
He’s the last on-ice link to the WHA, worked nearly 2,000 NHL games, was stung by pucks in every part of his anatomy, watched Mario Lemieux’s Canada Cup winner up close, got a shout-out in Wayne’s World and turned down Jim Schoenfeld’s advice to consume another beignet on national TV.
Referee Don Koharski will have a relatively quiet exit in a couple of weeks, but this tough old zebra won’t leave the game entirely. League director of officiating Stephen Walkom says a supervisory or instructional position will be discussed with the 53-year-old during the summer….
With his first game on Oct. 14, 1977 (the Cleveland Barons, Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Flames were still in the 18-team NHL), Koharski embarked on an eventful career. He’s recognized not only for his longevity, but working so many big games, such as the multiple Stanley Cup finals and at the Russians’ request, Game 3 of the ‘87 Canada Cup final.
read on and of course, whenever you hear ‘Koharski’, you think of the ‘donut incident’ which you can watch below…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The text message was from an NHL general manager. Rob Shick’s cell phone had reached its limit in voice mails, and the team executive was frustrated he couldn’t leave one for the man affectionately known as “Shicker.”
“Fitting, right? One last profanity-laced message from a GM,” Shick, laughing, told ESPN.com this week. “But he was just joking. A lot of people reached out to me last weekend, and that was really nice. I wasn’t expecting it.”
No, the humble referee would have been just fine had his last NHL game on Saturday, the Wild-Kings tilt in Los Angeles, attracted no fanfare. But once word got around late last week that Shick was working his 1,321st and last NHL regular-season game, the phone calls came flooding in from players, coaches, officials and various hockey people.
Mike Robitaille of the Buffalo Sabres TV crew sits down for part one of an exclusive interview with NHL Director of Officiating Stephen Walkom.
Watch the 2nd part of the interview here.
from Japers’ Rink,
My suggestion is not for more instruction from the NHL head office (although that may help). My suggestion is that all referees be paired into teams that will work together through the course of the season. NFL, NBA, and MLB all do that and arguably all of these sports require less communication and implicit understanding among crew members. NFL and MLB officials have regular breaks where they can get together and discuss the call. That is simply not an option in the NHL. The officials need to know the tendencies of their partners, need to know how the other official calls games and know under what circumstances the backside official should be making a call.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
You know an NHL referee has done a good job when you don’t notice him during the game but realize later that he let the players play and kept everyone in line.
Rob Shick is one of those good referees, but the Temecula resident is retiring after he officiates the Kings’ game against Minnesota Saturday afternoon at Staples Center. He’s scheduled to have 22 friends and family members in the audience.
from Curtis Stock of the Edmonton Journal,
New research confirms what many NHL hockey fans have long suspected, that referees consistently call more penalties on visiting teams.
In a sampling of more than 2,300 power plays from Jan. 1 through mid-February, home teams had 11.5 per cent more man advantages than did visitors.
National Hockey League teams have won 55 per cent more points and games at home than on the road this year — a statistic which fits nicely into the 54- to 56-per-cent advantage home teams have enjoyed throughout this decade.
from Dave Caldwell of the New York Times,
Game No. 793 of the 1,230-game N.H.L. schedule included a first-period fight between Devils right wing David Clarkson and Rangers defenseman Erik Reitz, who shed their helmets and wrestled each other before finding the leverage to throw several hard punches. Clarkson fell atop Reitz, ending the fight.
Two officials, Tony Sericolo and Derek Nansen, swooped in to separate Clarkson and Reitz, and just as important, keep them apart. Each player received a five-minute penalty for fighting, and the fans of both teams at the Prudential Center in Newark cheered the fighters. Sericolo and Nansen later had to break up another fight, between the Devils’ Mike Rupp and the Rangers’ Colton Orr. Their job went almost entirely unnoticed.
That is the way it goes with linesmen, the most anonymous men on the ice.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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