Referee Walkom assigned to conference finals

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Stephen Walkom is moving on.

Walkom, who’s coincidental roughing minors call wiped out Niklas Hjalmarsson’s late goal on Wednesday night, has been assigned to work the conference finals, according to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector.

Walkom advances to Round 3 along with Marc Joanette, Eric Fulatt, Wes McCauley, Dan O’Halloran, Dan O’Rourke, Chris Rooney and Brad Watson.

The move to include him in the officiating pool might come as a surprise but, according to TSN.ca, the NHL said it stands firmly behind his call from Game 7:

A league source explained to TSN on Thursday that Walkom’s job on the play was to watch behind the play and not concern himself with the puck.

The whistle was blown before the goal and the league agreed that the no-goal call was, “absolutely correct.”

Walkom, 49, is best known as the NHL’s former vice president and director of officiating. He left refereeing to take that post, but came out of retirement in 2009 to start calling games again.

He was named as one of the referees for the 2010 and ’11 Stanley Cup finals, and has worked two Game 7 already this postseason (last night’s Hawks-Wings finale and Detroit-Anaheim, with Eric Furlatt).