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Referee Walkom assigned to conference finals

May 30, 2013, 2:11 PM EDT

Stephen Walkom

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, 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).

  1. hockeydon10 - May 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Not surprising. He’s one of the better refs in the league.

  2. detroitcityy - May 30, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    It was the right call if I was a hawks fan my fist would have went through my tv though

    • comeonnowguys - May 30, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      The whistle? Yes. What the whistle was for? Nope.

    • shwoogy1 - May 30, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      Trust me, I was seconds away from jumping in my car and making my presence known.

  3. sjsharks66 - May 30, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Dude is getting so much flak for doing his job correctly.

  4. r4n6er - May 30, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    People are pretty funny with regards to this call. The back ref isn’t intentionally focused on the play down the ice and the play down there shouldn’t affect his call. He made a call and he stuck by it. I know it sucked that the Hawks scored on it but that’s the way it is. We could argue that the Hawks most likely should have had another goal waived off after Bolland smoked the Detroit player’s head into the boards from a dirty angle…but of course we don’t need to talk about that. It’s a no win for the officials during the playoffs.

    • suckit619 - May 30, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Cry me a river about the Bolland hit. The wings got away with much dirtier play all series. And how many hawks goals were disallowed? At least 2 if I remember correctly. The better team won so deal with it

      • r4n6er - May 30, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        I am not actually a fan of either team, although I will cheer for the team that comes out of the West come finals time. My favorite part about this series was Towes pouting and looking like the grumpy cat. I hope the Hawks can actually put a series together during the conference finals because they have sure had a hard time against the weakest seeded teams in the playoffs.

  5. suckit619 - May 30, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    You people are clueless. It was an awful call. That’s why all of the analysts and current players from other teams agreed it was a bad call. Of course the NHL is going to back their official… Doesn’t mean it was the right call. Either way, the superior team won so the wings and their fans can enjoy the offseason. Go hawks!!

    • r4n6er - May 30, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      They did win and in a commanding performance against one of the weakest seeded teams in the playoffs. What a complete blowout this series was, I mean I almost felt bad for Detroit playing against a far superior team, they never even stood a chance…I mean can we skip all the formalities and just give the Hawks the cup?

      • suckit619 - May 30, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        Weakest seeded teams? Are you familiar with the LA kings? Because they won the cup as an 8 seed. And Detroit beat a very tough Anaheim team in the first round so maybe you should pay attention to the team on the ice instead of their seeding.

      • r4n6er - May 30, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        Sarcasim directed at you…clearly you missed it…

      • shwoogy1 - May 30, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        Who cares what their seeds were. I mean… Seeding does not matter at all. I mean… Any team can get hot at any moment and win games. I mean… ya know. I mean… you understand r4n6er?

  6. blackhawksdynasty - May 30, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    This just happens to be the same official who decided against giving Torres any penalty for his hit on Hossa. Not a good official – just one who has good connections.

  7. sjsharks66 - May 30, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    He may not have given Torres a penalty but I believe the 25 game suspension made up for it.

    As for the superior team winning? The wings forced them into a game 7. Stop acting like your team blew past the wings. What about the controversial penalty shot? It’s even now with the controversy.

  8. ironmike778 - May 30, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    You guys that said he made the right call have no idea what you’re talking about. You don’t “get” hockey.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 30, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      And apparently neither does Walkom and the NHL, but you do. Right?

  9. 950003cups - May 30, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    A referee has to stay impartial. If he felt BOTH players committed a penalty, and he decided to wait for the play to unfold first, then he’s guilty of favoring one team over another. The call was to waive off the goal was correct. I didn’t think the actual call should’ve been made. But when a ref makes a call, he has to blow the play dead.If the puck went wide we’re not having this conversation.

    The only referee who MUST be banned from ever calling another NHL game is Chris Rooney. He has a rap sheet longer than Al Capone on suspect calls that favor teams of his choice. The jury is still out on Dave Jackson.

    • thesableo - May 30, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      Yeah, my only problem was that he called a penalty on both players. I would have only called the Detroit player, in which case the play wouldn’t have been whistled dead because Chicago still had the puck. Could have avoided all of this.
      I hate Dave Jackson. I never noticed Rooney- what teams does he favor?

      • travishenryskid - May 30, 2013 at 4:10 PM

        Not sure how this gets a thumbs down. There only shoulve been a penalty against Detroit. The ref was afraid of affecting the outcome so he was ONLY going to call offsetting penalties no matter what. So by cheating the game, he nearly did what he meant to avoid. Call the game by the rules. These refs lack all credibility after something like this.

      • 950003cups - May 30, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        I agree with you Travis.

        Chris Rooney is an NHL sanctioned referee who should be unsanctioned at the next available moment.

  10. auggie1955 - May 30, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Walkom needs to do hockey fans a favor – go back into retirement.

    • thesableo - May 30, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      I didn’t know Stephane Auger commented on PHT.

  11. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 30, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    We can argue all we want about this, and many will have varied opinions. Seems most agree that the goal was scored after the whistle. Walkom, whether we agree or not, say, jay justification to call coincidental minors. Big deal. Get over it.

    • imleftcoast - May 30, 2013 at 7:11 PM

      We all realize the game is over. The question is whether that ref should be calling games in the next round. The debate is whether there should have been offsetting minors and whistle blown. If only the Red Wing was getting called for a penalty (the correct call), then the play would have continued while Chicago maintained possession and the goal would have (properly) been counted.

      I’m not a fan of either team. I really don’t want the refs determining the outcome though. Close call last night, and unfortunately Walkom gets another chance in the next round.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 30, 2013 at 9:33 PM

        I hear you, but Walkom saw offsetting penalties is all I’m saying. A strike is not always a strike in baseball as proven by today’s technology. Bottom line these guys call it as they see it. You’re probably right though. Walkom thought there was enough to justify both going off as opposed to giving a team the PP at that stage of a game 7. It’s possible in a regular season game he would have called only Detroit.

  12. papajack1259 - May 30, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    I did not care who won in the Detroit/Chicago game but he let far worst go all game right or wrong a referee must show consistency, he made the wrong call at the wrong time A good ref goes unnoticed…….

  13. boisehockeyref - May 31, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Valoisjoey…very good point. And Ironmike…you obviously have never refereed hockey. I have for 22+ years. Even if there was not in YOUR mind coincidental penalties, it was HIS observation that there was…and procedurally, he was correct. Anytim e there is coincidental penalties, the play is DONE…PERIOD! Without regard to who has the puck or whatever. It’s not like in soccer if there is a minor foul and the non offending teamaintains control, the ref allows the play to continue as the team fouled maintained advantage. Hockey is not like that…and there is always going to be delay when the brain says “penalty commited” and “gotta blow the noise maker”. The procedure, in and of itself…was correct. End of discussion.

  14. tbsd87 - May 31, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Walkom is one of maybe 4 officials left in the league that I would trust. I’m no conspiracy theorist… just a believer in incompetency. (Conspiracy theorists from big markets like CHI or PHI make even less sense to me since those are big ratings markets and the league would seemingly want those teams in but I digress.) In a league where incompetency reigns, this is a great official who has a great relationship with the players. He is very vocal on the ice and constantly communicating with them. This is a guy who made one really bad mistake in my mind, but who’s overall body of work has been great. I agree that accountability is important, but who else in the league is there to work these games??? The bench is not exactly deep ladies and gentlemen. O’Rourke??? You kidding me??? Rooney? McCauley is a joke too. You need Walkom out there. He may have been noticeably wrong on a big stage, but the other officials I mentioned here, are wrong on every stage, every night it seems. The days of McCreary, Fraser, Faucette, and Gregson are gone. Sigh

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