Some people said Rob Shick was lucky to referee in the NHL. But he’s always believed the definition of luck is when preparation meets opportunity. After years of working his way up the minor and junior hockey ladder, Shick was prepared when his NHL chance finally arrived.

How else do you explain a young kid from Port Alberni (population 18,000) refereeing in the NHL on a minor league contract at a time when the league only had 11 referees? No one had done that before.

But Shick’s grandfather used to tell him he hoped to see him work a game on Hockey Night in Canada one day. That was enough to drive him to make it. Ultimately, he’d work 1,321 NHL regular season games and another 130 in the playoffs during a 25-year career—the most of any BC-born official.

One of hockey’s most respected officials, Shick refereed two NHL All-Star Games in 1994 and 1997, as well as the 2001 Stanley Cup Final. Other highlights include working the longest modern-day NHL game, a five-overtime playoff marathon in 2000 between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia that took seven hours to play, and the NHL’s first-ever game played on foreign soil when the Canucks faced Anaheim in Tokyo, Japan in 1997. He also passed the puck over to Queen Elizabeth in 2002 for the ceremonial face-off prior to a Canucks-Sharks game in Vancouver.

Since retiring in 2009, Shick has worked as the NHL’s senior officiating manager and oversaw hockey referees at the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Written and researched by Jason Beck, Curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

To view the 2018 Inductee career and thank you videos please visit our YouTube Channel here.