In the next month and a half, everything should figure itself out regarding which officials will be working in which leagues next season. But for now, here’s a bit of info I’ve gathered:
- WCHA commish Bruce McLeod proposed a consortium of refs for the WCHA, Big Ten and NCHC — a system where all three leagues would share the same officials. The NCHC wasn’t interested, so it didn’t go much further.
- McLeod told the Bemidji Pioneer that the WCHA will be losing a number of its referees. I asked WCHA director of officials Greg Shepherd about this. He confirmed he’s expecting to lose a bunch of officials, but said he can’t definitively say which guys just yet. “They (Big 10 and NCHC) are taking my top officials, so they must not have been that bad,” he said.
- I heard that Derek Shepherd and Brad Shepherd will probably be working in one of the new leagues, but Greg was unable to confirm that at the time. He said it will probably be another month to a month and a half before everything works itself out.
- It’s possible that refs may work some games outside of their regular league, too (example, a Big Ten official occasionally working WCHA games). In the NCAA tournament, officials cannot work games involving teams in their league. But if you ref fewer than 14 games in a league, you are not considered affiliated with that league. Example: If a Big Ten ref works 10 WCHA games during the season, he can still work an NCAA tournament game involving a WCHA team.
- With the NCHC and the Big Ten taking some of the WCHA’s officials, the WCHA has looked to some CCHA refs and USHL refs to fill the voids. A lot of CCHA guys also will end up in the Big Ten (the Big Ten’s director of officials is the former director of officials in the CCHA).
- In case you didn’t see this a week or two ago, the NCHC announced its officiating system here.
UPDATE: Gopher Puck Live is reporting that both of the Shepherd’s will work in the NCHC, along with Todd Anderson and C.J. Beaurline, while Marco Hunt is going to the Big 10.
COMMENT: Not surprised that the NCHC was interested in Derek Shepherd and C.J. Beaurline, but don’t understand the addition of Todd Anderson. Let’s hope Don Adam tells him to stop yelling at players, escalating situations and causing games to last way longer than they should.