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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Extra info for A Referee's Life
This, combined with Bob Davidson’s recommendation, earned me an invitation to an NHL Officiating Training Camp in Toronto in the fall of 1960. I took the invitation from the NHL to my employer at that time (the City of Sudbury), and they gave me a leave of absence until the end of December. I figured I would enjoy my brief sojourn “down south,” then return “up north” and possibly get on as a part-time linesman for the Wolves games. I didn’t know the next couple of weeks would alter my life forever.
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. Powers, who was the NHL’s senior referee, considered the fine inadequate and submitted his resignation as a referee during the middle of the season.
Author’s Collection Jerry ran a summer hockey school in Copper Cliff, near Sudbury, where future NHL Hall-of-Fame goalie Eddie Giacomin and I helped him out. We all became good buddies, even though some nights I had to put them in the penalty box. Eddie was a special guy; he was my wife Barb’s first crush. She used to freeze her buns off watching him play goal at the outdoor rink in Gatchell, near Sudbury, where they both grew up. Of course, like a lot of young people in their early teens in those days, neither acknowledged the other existed.