Stephen Walkom, one of the top referees in the National Hockey League, will be leaving the ice effective immediately to join the management ranks as NHL Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating, the League announced today.
The 41-year old native of North Bay, Ontario, who joined the NHL officiating ranks in 1990, has been one of the NHL's top-ranked referees for the last several years. He worked the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and 2004 World Cup of Hockey as well as the 2002 and 2004 Stanley Cup Finals.
Walkom has consistently reached the highest level of officiating in various leagues throughout his career. He has worked in the Memorial Cup Final (Canadian Major Junior), Turner Cup Final (International HockeyLeague) and Calder Cup Final (American Hockey League).
"With the rule changes that the League has adopted for the upcoming season, we believe that Stephen is ideally suited to provide direction and guidance to our on-ice officials," said NHL Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. "His judgment and professionalism on the ice, coupled with the respect he has earned as one of the top officials in the game, will be of great benefit in his transition to the officiating management ranks."
Many of those rule changes the Walkom will be enforcing across the league will be a clear benefit for fast skating clubs like the Sharks.
"The NHL made a great choice in Stephen Walkom," said Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson. "His knowledge and understanding will be a great addition for the NHL's management team."