Five men from the Kontinental Hockey League's “Justice Department,” three referees and two linesmen, have been selected to enforce the rules at the 2018 IIHF World Championships in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark.
With the playoff stage of the Kontinental Hockey League's tenth anniversary season in full swing and the Conference semi-finals nearing their dramatic denouements, the action on the ice grows more passionate and intense with every passage of play. This is not only a crucial time for the players, coahes, staff and fans, but also for the officials, who must guard against any lapse in concentration or weakening of resolve. And for a select few, the intensity and drama will continue long after the Gagarin Cup has been raised, as from the 4th to 20th of May they will be on duty in the Danish cities of Copenhagen and Herning for the World Championships, where they will no doubt encounter some familiar faces from the KHL's finest players.
On Wednesday, the 21st of March, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced the names of the officials who will serve at their flagship tournament. A long list of 64 candidates had been whittled down to 32, comprising 16 referees and 16 linesmen, 20 of whom (12 referees and 8 linesmen) were also on international duty in February at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
The brigade of officials is truly international, consisting of referees and linesmen hailing from 13 different nations. The largest contingents are those from Canada, Finland, Russia and the United States, who each have four officials on the list. The KHL, however, will boast five representatives at the World Championships – four citizens of the Russian Federation and one from the Czech Republic:
Konstantin Olenin - 626 matches in the KHL, including 120 in the playoffs.
Roman Gofman - 430 matches in the KHL, including 72 in the playoffs.
Antonin Jerabek - 281 matches in the KHL, including 47 in the playoffs.
Gleb Lazarev - 380 matches in the KHL, including 49 in the playoffs.
Alexander Otmakhov - 290 matches in the KHL, including 30 in the playoffs.
Dmitry Golyak - 294 matches in the KHL, including 9 in the playoffs.
The tournament will not be uncharted waters for any of the Kontinental Hockey League officials: all have previous experience of keeping order at the Worlds, and for Olenin, it will be an 8th call-up for the event. The elite five officials were also selected for the 2018 Olympics.