Sports /

Hockey Referee's Family Threatened After Officiating Playoff Game

Wes McCauley Has Been Speculated To Have A Long-Standing Personal Grievance With Toronto Maple Leafs Coach Sheldon Keefe

NHL referee Wes McCauley was doxxed and threatened after officiating a game in the second round of the 2023 playoffs.

Florida’s Tampa Bay Lightning faced Canada’s Toronto Maple Leafs in the first game of the 2023 NHL playoffs on April 18.

McCauley, who has previously been criticized by Toronto fans who suggested the referee has a conflict of interest against the team, officiated Tampa Bay’s 7-3 win over the Maple Leafs.

During the first game of the playoffs, Toronto Maple Leafs’ Michael Bunting was given a three-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Tampa defenseman Erik Cernak during the second period.

Following Bunting’s suspension and the Maple Leaf’s subsequent loss, threats were reportedly made against McCauley’s family, per the Toronto Star.

McCauley has been speculated to have a long-standing personal grievance with Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe.

Prior to game 3 of the second playoff round, Keefe addressed speculation of a personal grievance with McCauley, noting the referee’s professionalism officiating the sport.

“The only way I would answer that is just to say that officials don’t have any impact on the game. It’s not my focus,” Keefe reportedly said of the referee. “But Wes has treated me like a true professional the whole time that I’ve been in this league and I’ve been very appreciative of that.”


“Wes was assigned to officiate tonight’s game in the normal course,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Star. “He’s consistently ranked among the highest performing officials in the game. We see no need or reason to alter our normal scheduling practices in response to social media ‘chatter’ — nor would it be fair to our teams to do so.”

On Dec. 27, Keefe was fined $25,000 for “demeaning conduct directed at the officials” during a game in St. Louis in which McCauley was officiating.

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 in the 6-game round before advancing to the second round of the NHL playoffs against the Florida Panthers. The Panthers currently hold a 3-0 lead over the Maple Leafs following last night’s overtime win.

After a record setting season, the Boston Bruins lost a three-game lead to the Florida Panthers who defeated the Massachusetts team in the seventh game.

NHL playoffs consist of four rounds of games in which teams must win at least four out of seven possible games per round. The team to survive four rounds of elimination secures the Stanley Cup, originally commissioned in 1892 by Lord Stanley of Preston.

*For corrections please email [email protected]*