The Washington Capitals hosted a pregame ceremony Saturday for longtime NHL Official Kelly Sutherland. The 45-year-old Sutherland was officiating in his 1000th career game.
Sutherland began his NHL career on December 19, 2000, when the Los Angeles Kings hosted the Atlanta Thrashers. The Richmond, British Columbia native has officiated 79 playoff games and three Stanley Cup Finals since then.
Both the Rangers and the Capitals presented Sutherland with gifts before his milestone game. Sutherland’s mother was in tears.
New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh presented Sutherland with a signed goalie stick while Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin presented the official with a framed jersey autographed by every member of the Capitals.
We might complain about officiating every now and then, but Sutherland and the rest of the NHL officiating crew (minus Tim Peel) deserve our respect and appreciation.
Headline photo: Patrick McDermott