Ron Wicks's A Referee's Life PDF

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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My first boss, Carl Voss, used to tell us to celebrate our Christmas in July with our playoff bonuses — and we did. 7 For example, Phil Esposito was a big star with Chicago’s farm team, the St. Louis Braves, and he eventually graduated to the Black Hawks. Some outstanding hockey players came out of the Central League. Like all teams in the minors, Memphis used local linesmen, and one of them was a lawyer who was part of the local ownership that had helped bring the team to town. When the home team scored its inaugural goal, this linesman applauded the goal.

Each of the new teams paid a two-million-dollar entry fee to join the NHL in 1967, and the League expanded again in 1969, when, bowing to extensive pressure from Canadian interests, they added Vancouver and Buffalo. In 1972, Atlanta and Long Island were added. The birth of the rival World Hockey Association in 1972 also changed the rules of the game, as competition for players and officials took place. The World Hockey Association, and the expansion of the NHL, changed forever the complexion of the game of hockey, and I was fortunate to have a rink-side seat through those tumultuous years.

When people ask me how I became a referee, I like to tell them that when I started as a linesman they gave me a bag of marbles, and when I lost all my marbles I became a referee. ) I refereed my first pro game in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1964, and my referee buddy Bruce Hood was there to offer moral support. We had an incident in which two players broke sticks over each other and then speared each other with the broken shafts. Bruce said it was just a normal day at the office. Our staff sent referees to the American League, the Western League, and the Central Pro League that had relocated from the Eastern Pro League in 1964.

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A Referee's Life by Ron Wicks

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