Stephen Walkom
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"Stephen Walkom" currently serves as vice president and Director of Officiating (NHL)/director of officiating for the National Hockey League (NHL). This is second tenure in that position, having previously served from 2005 to 2009. From 1990 to 2004, and from 2009 to 2013, he worked as an official (ice hockey)/on-ice referee for the league.

He is married to Annie and together they have three children. They reside in the Pittsburgh suburb of Moon Township, Pennsylvania.

Walkom worked Official (ice hockey)/referee, until retiring August 3, 2005 when he elevated to the management position. Walkom succeeded Andy Van Hellemond as director of officiating, who resigned under controversy in mid-July 2004.

He has a bachelor's degree in commerce from Laurentian University.

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I've got a lot of confidence in these guys, they understand their responsibilities in these games, and if they see a foul in these games, I fully expect they'll react to it. I believe we've given them the proper instructions to stay the course, and they're committed to stay the course.

Our motto is to stay the course and the playoff intensity will still be there. I don't look at just one game. I'm very pleased at the way the guys have called it all year. The players dictate whether there will be a lot of calls or not.

We have to have awareness for the soap opera. It's a vicious circle, the way it works.

It's not just the players' culture and coaches' culture that needs to change. It's the officiating culture as well because accepted practices in the past will no longer be accepted.

We hope it accelerates the learning curve. That, coupled with the exhibition season each team plays, should alleviate some of the fears of the players come opening night.

It's a big change for players, but it's a bigger change for the referees. They've grown up not being involved in the third period and overtime. But you can expect good things from our guys. Our mission is the same. There's always that mental side of officiating. We've worked hard to prepare our guys.

We've had a lot of guys put them on this season, anyway. That was kind of a wake-up call.

In the old culture, the old way of thinking, a rule broken in certain situations was not called. The difference is our guys see it and they call it, regardless of the situation. Do that, you have consistency; if you don't, you fall back the other way and it's clutch and grab again.