The officials for the Stanley Cup Finals have been announced.
Dan O’Halloran, Dan O’Rourke, Chris Rooney and Brad Watson will be the referees; Derek Amell, Jean Morin, Jonny Murray, and Pierre Racicot will be the linesmen.
Individual breakdowns, records, and controversies below…
Dan O’Halloran – #13
The 48-year-old O’Halloran, an Ontario native, has refereed the most regular season games of any of the remaining officials at 814, to go along with his 86 playoff games. He officiated the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007, 2008, and 2011, as well as the Gold Medal Game of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. O’Halloran averaged 7.6 minor penalties per game in the regular season, dropping to 7.0 in the playoffs; this is the lowest average penalties per game in the postseason, just slightly less than Brad Watson’s 7.2.
In games officiated by O’Halloran this season, including playoffs, the Devils are 4-5 (average 6.8 minor penalties per game); the Kings are 5-2 (average 9.7 minor penalties per game).
O’Halloran was called out on his officiating – including missed calls and alleged embellishment by Kings players – by Phoenix Coyotes’ coach Dave Tippett:
“If I told you what I really thought, I think it would cost me a lot of money. If everybody else is doing it, you better do it, too. We saw more than one penalty out there for us and against us that were called that I thought were plays where there was embellishment. It’s too bad it has to go that way. It’s too bad you get to this point in the season that that becomes a factor, but it’s the reality of our game right now.”
Nashville’s Barry Trotz also questioned a goal that was waved off by O’Halloran due to goaltender interference:
“[O'Halloran] said that Hornqvist pushed the goaltender into the net. I don’t buy that. We’ve had a couple of those now. It’s not really going our way with those.”
Dan O’Rourke – #9
O’Rourke, originally from Calgary, has worked 508 regular season games and 25 playoff games, including the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Averaging 8.5 minor penalties per game in the regular season, O’Rourke went up to 10.3 in the playoffs.
In games officiated by O’Halloran this season, including playoffs, the Devils are 5-3 (average 9.2 minor penalties per game); the Kings are 5-2 (average 14.3 minor penalties per game, in some rough matchups).
Chris Rooney – #5
A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Rooney has worn the stripes for 562 regular season games, including the 2010 Winter Classic. He has officiated 26 playoff games; this is his first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Rooney averaged 9.0 minor penalties per game in the regular season and 10.6 in the playoffs.
In games worked by Rooney this season, including playoffs, the Devils are 2-4 (average 7.9 minor penalties per game); the Kings are 7-2 (average 11.1 minor penalties per game).
O’Rourke and Rooney were paired together for the Conference Finals — together, they worked 7 playoff games together this season, including the Kings 4-0 victory in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, which, with 14 minors, 2 majors, and 4 game misconducts, was the most penalty-filled game of either Conference Finals, and the third highest in this year’s playoffs. The game included two major boarding penalties, on on Coyotes captain Shane Doan and one on center Martin Hanzal, who earned a one-game suspension for his hit on the Kings’ Dustin Brown. It also included a questionable embellishment penlaty on Kings captain Dustin Brown:
“If you look at the replay, his stick is above his head when he chops down on me. I think most hockey players know, if you get hit in the right spot, your leg goes numb. That’s what happened in that case.” – Dustin Brown
Brad Watson – #23
In games officiated by Watson this season, including playoffs, the Devils are 6-2, while the Kings are 4-2. Watson officiated one game between the Devils and Kings this season – the Devils’ 3-0 victory on October 25, 2011, at the Staples Center – a very clean game, with only 3 minor penalties.