A Referee's Life by Ron Wicks

By Ron Wicks

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

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For my audacity that got all sixty pounds of me stuffed into a garbage can. Looking back, I would say it was worth it, but that was when I first realized Leafs fans can be extremely touchy! Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Champions in the 1950s. Hockey Hall of Fame At about ten years of age, I had a paper route delivering the Toronto Star, which came all the way up north on the train. The paper generally arrived at the train station in Timmins the following morning. On weekends, the Saturday Star would arrive on Sunday morning, and I would deliver it to my customers.

I credit this for helping me get hired. In addition, Jerry filled me in on the players as well as what to say and what not to say. ” It was good advice, and held me in good stead — most of the time! 1 Sawchuk was replaced by rookie goalie Glenn Hall, who went on to play 502 consecutive games in the NHL. Hall was subsequently traded in 1957 to the cellar-dwelling Chicago Black Hawks — where he won the Stanley Cup in 1961. Ironically, Sawchuk returned later to play goal again with the Red Wings.

I remember telling my mentor (and at this point, my boss), Frank Udvari, that if White were not disciplined prior to my next game three nights later in Pittsburgh, my sore neck was going into spasm and I was going to call my doctor and my lawyer, and not necessarily in that order! Frank called me in my hotel room in Pittsburgh the afternoon of the next game, informing me that White had been suspended for five games. I met Frank for a coffee and then we left for the rink. I feel I had a fairly good relationship with most of the players.

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