Walkom refs 1st period of Isles-Rangers alone

Stephen Walkom worked as the lone referee during the first

period of a game between the New York Islanders and New York

Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Dean Morton, who was slated to work alongside Walkom on Saturday

night, arrived late due to “weather-related complications,”

according to a news release issued by the Rangers. Morton joined

Walkom during the second period.

Walkom returned to the ice this season after spending four years

as the NHL’s director of officiating. Before moving to the league

office, Walkom worked more than 600 games as an NHL referee.

The NHL began using two referees instead of one during the

1998-99 season, with each club playing 20 games with two. That

increased to 25 home games and 25 road games the following season.

All games have been officiated by two referees since the 2000-01

season.