Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 05/23/11 at 12:44 AM ET
From Kerry Fraser at TSN:
An NHL referee typically travels between 80,000-120,000 miles per season (including pre-season and playoffs). After a five-day training camp, which includes medicals and a demanding fitness test on day one, we head off to work our exhibition assignments. Unlike a hockey team that resides in an NHL city, the officials’ home residences are scattered throughout North America. The league has attempted to accommodate requests made by officials who wish to relocate or they have moved young officials into hockey markets that would provide reduced travel costs through the assignment process. [...]
There is a concerted effort by NHL assigner Randy Hall to assign the referees to an equal number of regular season games in each NHL city over the course of their 73 game schedule. (Linesmen can work 75 games max.) Since each owner pays an equal share of the league officiating budget they want the top rated officials in their building as many times as the lower ranked officials. (I’ll leave the ranking to you.) In theory it also provides a sense of fairness.
Through expansion and attrition which brought new officials into the league, Bobby Clarke proposed that officials work in set crews and remain in one conference for at least half of the season. He felt this way the players could get to know them better and develop some sort of relationship. He felt that under the current system a team might see a referee or linesman in a game and not see that individual again for a month.
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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.
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