Don Koharski refs final NHL game

Referee Don Koharski worked Thursday night's game between the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning, far from unhappy that it was the final one of his 32-year career.

Referee Don Koharski worked Thursday night's game between the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning, far from unhappy that it was the final one of his 32-year career.

"I'm ready," Koharski said before the game. "I just finished my last road trip, four games in eight days. At about day six of the road trip, I said, 'Yeah, I made the right decision."'

Koharski worked in the World Hockey Association before appearing in his first NHL game as a linesman on Oct. 14, 1977, a game between the Colorado Rockies and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He refereed his first NHL game on Nov, 18, 1981, a match between the Rockies and Washington.

Koharski would go on to work all-star games and over 260 playoff games, with 11 appearances in the Stanley Cup finals. He also officiated in Canada Cup and World Cup of Hockey action.

The 53-year-old is expected to join NHL management to work with and recruit on-ice officials.