NHL referee Don Koharski is hanging up his skates for good. Last night’s Lightning-Capitals contest was the last time he would lace ‘em up before calling it a career. Koharski spent 32 years on the ice, maintaining law & order in over 2,000 regular season & playoff games.
(Don Koharski with Martin Brodeur. All’s forgiven between Donny & the Devils?)
However, even with such a long & successful officiating career, it was one post-game encounter that he’ll best be remembered for. Anybody have another doughnut?
During the 1988 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Boston Bruins handed the New Jersey Devils a 6-1 bruising in Game 3 of the Prince of Wales Conference finals. (The NHL really needs to bring back these classic conference & divisional names - Norris, Smythe, Adams, etc.) Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld was red hot over the officiating & decided to confront Koharski after the game.
And the rest, as they say, is history - you fat pig!
The NHL suspended Schoenfeld for Game 4, but the Devils scored an injunction from a New Jersey court, allowing Jim to be back on the bench. In a show of solidarity, the regular NHL officials then refused to work Game 4, forcing the league to bring in replacement refs.
So, is Don still dour about the whole escapade? Not really. As the TAMPA TRIBUNE reports:
Koharski said he holds no grudge against Schoenfeld, instead viewing the positives that resulted, such as increased security in arenas and his improved health.
Eat your heart out, Jenny Craig!
With his on-ice days done, Koharski will be taking an upper management job with the NHL, helping to recruit & develop other referees. And if that doesn’t work out, he can always manage a Krispy Kreme.