This afternoon at 1PM in Denver, Colorado, NHL referee Dave Jackson will join a very select group of referees by celebrating his 1,500th NHL Regular Season Game before a matchup between the Anaheim Ducks and the hometown Avalanche. For this special assignment, Dave will be joined on the ice by fellow referee Brad Watson while linesmen Mark Wheler and Pierre Racicot will complete the officiating team. This is an incredible achievement by Jackson who signed his first minor-league contract with the NHL back in 1989 at the age of 24. Dave who is also set to work the 2018 NHL All-Star Game in Tampa later this month, as always been an outstanding member and it is with great pleasure that the NHLOA would like to congratulate him on this amazing milestone! Well Done Jacks! DAVE JACKSON BIO: The Pointe-Claire, QC native started as a minor hockey referee at age 14 in the West Island Hockey Association in the western suburbs of Montreal. As a young official, Jackson spent his first few years learning the officiating craft in the low categories. He reached the inter-city levels after his third season as an official but almost gave up being a minor hockey referee the following year after an ugly incident happened to him outside the local arena in Lachine, QC. Some parents physically attacked him and his officiating partner when exiting the arena after a bantam game. Jackson credits his mentor Doug Hayward for convincing him to stay around the game, reminding him that he had a bright future as a referee. This was 1982. From this point on, his progression as an official took off and he was going thru the different levels of hockey in the province of Quebec at a furious pace. Jackson reached the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League quickly only a few years later. Then, the National Hockey League got interested in him and invited him to join their defunct “trainee program” in 1985 at age 21, making him one of the youngest officials to be part of this initiative from the NHL that had identified officials traveling across the three different Major Juniors leagues in Canada and some minor professional leagues in the U.S. in order to gain experience and knowledge, providing ready prospects for the big league when they had an official retiring or being terminated. During his “trainee” years, Jackson was selected to work the 1988 Memorial Cup in Chicoutimi, QC where he made great impression on an NHL officiating supervisor attending. In the summer of 1989, Jackson was offered an NHL minor-leagues referee contract when he was 24. He made his NHL debut on December 22, 1990 in Quebec city at the old Colisée when the New jersey Devils were in town to play the now-defunct Nordiques. He would go on and spend four seasons under an NHL minor-league referee contract before being promoted under an NHL full-time referee status in the summer of 1993. Almost three decades later, Jackson has had many milestones and important assignments during his journey wearing the black and white sweater. His first NHL Playoffs Game was on April 22nd, 1999 in Raleigh, NC when the Boston Bruins visited the hometown Hurricanes. He was selected to work the 2002 NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles, CA and was also part of the officiating crew selected to work the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also worked an outdoor game on February 27th, 2016 when he skated during the 2016 Coors Light Stadium Series game opposing the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche. Being around for almost three decade also means a lot of hockey games worked. In fact, Jackson worked his 1,000th NHL Regular Season Game back in 2008 (December 20th) in his hometown of Montreal when the Buffalo Sabres visited the Canadiens.
Published: January 15, 2018