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Put the Whistle Away, Don Koharski

PHOENIX - JANUARY 21:  Referee Don Koharski #12 signals during the NHL game of the Buffalo Sabres against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Arena on January 21, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Nick BarnowskiCorrespondent IApril 10, 2009

No, this isn't Don Cherry I'm talking about.

This is Don Koharski.

The referee of 32 years retired Thursday, ending a storied career that saw him commanding the ice in many big games.

Some of his most notable accomplishments include officiating 11 Stanley Cup Finals, two All-Star Games, and the 1987 Canada Cup Final between Canada and the Soviet Union—at the request of the Russians.

In his 1,965 total games as a referee in the National Hockey League, one stands out for most fans as an infamous moment in NHL history.

During a 1988 playoff game, New Jersey Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld became agitated with Koharski's performance. While Schoenfeld waited for Koharski near the referees' dressing room, Koharski fell (it was believed that Schoenfeld pushed him). 

After the two probably exchanged some off-color words, Schoenfeld told Koharski to go "have another doughnut," and called him a "fat pig" numerous times.

While many agree that Koharski was less than stellar as a ref, many also appreciate the dedication he had for the game of hockey.

So here's to you, Don. 

Hockey fans around the world will have another doughnut in your honor.

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