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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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Louis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Oakland, and Los Angeles to the roster, turned the NHL into a continent-wide league with extensive air travel. 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 Cincinnati Reds checked into our hotel, and all three officials — Will Norris, Ray Scapinello, and I — had to hang around Oakland (and San Francisco) for five days for the rescheduled hockey game that was to be played on the following Sunday. We managed to bum our way into the three ball games, and I told our boss, referee-in-chief Scotty Morrison, that we would be up for the hockey game, but I’m not sure he really believed me. We did quite a lot of touring on our off-day — Will Norris was our tour guide.

Paul, Oakland, and Los Angeles to the roster, turned the NHL into a continent-wide league with extensive air travel. 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.

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A Referee's Life by Ron Wicks


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