Even the midst of a lockout, the NHL continues to add employees.
According to the Western Hockey League website, three officials — referees Trevor Hanson and Trent Knorr, linesman Kiel Murchison — have been recruited to the NHL.
While all three have signed NHL contracts, they’ll officiate in the American Hockey League this season.
Bob Hall, the NHL’s senior officiating manager, says the WHL is a good breeding ground for referees and linesmen.
“[The WHL] is an environment that has huge crowds, great venues, a lot of pressure, and a highly-skilled and competitive level of hockey,” said Hall. “One of the main advantages of the WHL is that it is so big, geographically, that it really teaches guys how to self-manage.
“Just getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ can be very distracting, and you have to learn how to get yourself ready to work a game after traveling for hours, and through some tough weather conditions at that.”
The addition of new NHL recruits isn’t all that surprising, as a couple of jobs opened up this summer.
In June, referee Stephane Auger — he of the l’affaire de Burrows — announced his retirement after 13 years in the league.
Later that month, Marcus Vinnerborg — the NHL’s first European-trained referee — also called it a career.