A Referee's Life - download pdf or read online

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By Ron Wicks

From the minors to the massive time, former NHL referee Ron Wicks recounts existence off and on the ice.

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Rules are rules, and I called ’em whenever anyone broke ’em. As a referee, this is my tale. I will take you from the “good old days” when we hauled a goal judge right onto the ice to show us where the puck had actually gone into the net, to the present day, where instant replays decide the outcome of the game. The World Hockey Association and the expansion of the NHL forever changed the complexion of the game of hockey, and I was fortunate to have a rink-side seat through those tumultuous years.

Years later we both laughed at the incident, but it wasn’t funny at the time. On the Lines In January of 1963, the Montreal Canadiens lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 6–3 at the Montreal Forum. Coach Toe Blake was not pleased with the officiating and was quoted in a French newspaper as saying that referee Eddie Powers handled the game as if he had a bet on the outcome. This attracted the attention of NHL president Clarence Campbell, who said the matter would be investigated. Later, Blake was fined two hundred dollars by Campbell.

Barbara Ann Scott skated there on her way to winning the Olympic gold medal in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in 1948. The complex also had several sheets of ice for curling. One could compare the complex to a miniature version of Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. Our NHL Oldtimers played a game there several years ago, and it brought back nostalgic memories. It’s still a wonderful recreation facility today. Fifty or so years ago, the majority of NHL players came out of small towns either in Northern Ontario, Quebec, or Western Canada.

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A Referee's Life by Ron Wicks


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