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Don Koharski

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Status: Former NHL and World Association referee/linesman for 32 years. Retired from active duty after 2008-2009 season to an NHL advisory/instructional position.

DOB: Dec. 2, 1955 In: Dartmouth, N.S.

First Hockey Memory: "Oh gosh. I've never been asked that question before! I guess just the first time I ever played or laced up a pair of skates and played the game.”

Early Pro Memory: "Working my first game in the National Hockey League as a 20-year-old linesman. I remember I was in high school in April and I was working pro hockey in September. So, watch it one time, the next time, before you know it, I'm in the middle of it all. I was a young linesman out of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia."

Favorite Movies: "I probably have a lot, but my memory is so bad. I just saw It's Complicated so I'll say It's Complicated (laughs)."

Last Book Read: "I just read one, Brian McFarlane wrote it: Greatest Hockey Moments."

Favorite TV Show: "Criminal Minds."

Musical Tastes: "I like all kinds of music. Believe it or not, I like hip-hop, Top 40, Blues, Jazz. Alicia Keys, I'm a Springsteen fan."

First Job: "I was a linesman in the WHA, 1975. First game was in Toronto."

Current Car: "I have a CLK 500 Mercedes."

Greatest Sports Moment: "I've been fortunate. I probably have a couple. My first Stanley Cup final in 1986. And the Canada Cup final in 1987 when the Russians asked for me – the Canadian referee – to do the Canada-Russia final."

Most Painful Moment: "Physically – getting my leg and nose broken a couple of times. Mentally – probably the Schoenfeld thing wasn't a memorable moment, so probably the Schoenfeld thing in New Jersey (1988)."

Favorite Uniforms: "I think the old Montreal Canadiens. I grew up as a kid in Nova Scotia and we were all Montreal Canadiens fans. The San Jose Sharks – that's pretty cool too. But now, with all the old uniforms, the third jerseys, those are pretty cool for the Original Six teams."

Favorite Arena: "The one closest to my home (Tampa). No, but any of the Original Six rinks are a lot of fun to be in, to work. San Jose is a lot of fun, good arena, full of energy. But Montreal was probably one of the favorite ones to go to, where I worked."

Funny Hockey Memory: "I guess the night in Boston Garden, Game 7, after the Schoenfeld donut escapade. I had ended up working Game 7 of that same series in Boston. I skated on the ice and all the way around the perimeter of the rink on the dashboards was loaded with Dunkin’ Donut boxes (laughs). So that's pretty funny now (laughs)."

Closest Hockey Friends: "Wayne Bonney a long-time linesman, now retired. Pat Burns has developed to be a good friend."

Funniest Player Encountered: "Ian Laperriere. (Why?) He just loves; he still loves to play the game. Just a great attitude, good demeanor and no matter what is going on, he always found a way to put a fun, positive spin on everything out there."

Toughest Competitor: "Fiercest competitor – Messier always competed at a real high level, real intense. I'd say Mark Messier."

Strangest Game: "My career I had a lot of them (laughs). I had one night in Philadelphia where it was so bad outside that the windows blew in on the building and they had to cancel the game short because of the bad weather and blowing the windows off the building."

Embarrassing Hockey Memory: "One night in Edmonton I had to leave the ice to go use the washroom. I just couldn't hold it anymore. And I won't tell you which one it was – Number 1 or Number 2 (smiles). But I couldn't hold it anymore. And I left the ice on a commercial. I did my thing and got back before the commercial – I don't even think anybody even knew I was gone."

Most Memorable Goal: "I remember in the playoffs one year when Mario Lemieux – and I love Mario Lemieux and I love Ray Bourque – when Mario Lemieux was turning Ray Bourque inside out. Kept putting the puck in his skates when Ray was trying to turn around. Play him one-on-one and Mario kept putting the puck in his skates on him. Probably the other memorable goal would be the Gretzky-Lemieux in the '87 Canada Cup final, Game 3 against Russia."

Favorite Players To Watch: "Oh they're all talented athletes, but I was fortunate enough to see Bobby Orr play, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman. They were all good players to watch."

Personality Qualities Most Admired:
"Honesty, integrity and a good sense of humor."

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