The last few days of each season are always an emotional time for the NHLOA members, as they have to say goodbye to some long time teammates when they step off the ice for the last time. At the same time, new faces surface and just like we saw last week, new official makes their NHL debut making it also an exciting time for the zebra group. Tonight will be another emotional night, as NHL linesman Shane Heyer will be working his final game of his amazing 30-year NHL career in Anaheim, CA.
He will be joined on the ice for this special game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Anaheim Ducks by fellow referees Brad Watson and Wes McCauley while veteran linesman Brad Kovachik will be his partner on the lines. The Penticton, BC native will be retiring tonight as one of only seven officials in NHL history to have worked more than 2,000 games and also has one of few officials to have worked games both as a linesman and as a referee. Heyer came up to the National Hockey League through the Western Hockey League (WHL) officiating program. He was hired by the NHL in the summer of 1988 and made his NHL debut not long after on October 6 in Vancouver at the old Pacific Coliseum, manning the lines during a matchup between the original Winnipeg Jets and the hometown Canucks.
The man wearing jersey no.55 will leave the ice tonight with a final count of 2,016 NHL Regular Season Games (386 as referee & 1,630 as linesman) and an impressive 214 NHL Playoffs Games from which two of them were as a referee. He was also selected 6 times to work the prestigious Stanley Cup Finals.
The NHLOA would like to congratulate linesman Shane Heyer for his amazing career and would like to wish him all the best for his retirement.
*** Shane recently participated in the NHL.com Q&A feature called: "Five Questions With...". Click here to read the whole transcript: https://www.nhl.com/news/five-questions-with-nhl-official-shane-heyer/c-297313632
Shane Heyer bio:
Heyer who grew up in the Penticton B.C. Minor Hockey system started officiating at the early age of 11. His hockey coach made his whole team try it encouraging the young athletes to become better all around player by understanding the official’s role and the complexity of the job. Heyer kept at it and he worked the Minor Hockey system for several years before reaching the B.C. Junior Hockey League after he quit playing the game at the age of 16. The Western Hockey League (WHL) promoted him to work as a linesman at the age of 19. He worked the WHL for five seasons before getting the phone call from the National Hockey League in the summer of 1988 offering him a full-time NHL linesman contract. He made his NHL debut not long after on October 6 in Vancouver at the old Pacific Coliseum, manning the lines during a matchup between the original Winnipeg Jets and the hometown Canucks. He would get his first taste of NHL Playoff hockey quickly as he made the post-season officiating team in his second season only with the NHL. His first NHL Playoff Game was on April 18, 1990 at the defunct Chicago Stadium working a game between the Minnesota North Stars and the Blackhawks. The man who wears uniform number 55 built an impressive resume throughout his years of service with the NHL. He has worked the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver B.C., was selected to officiate 2 World Cup of Hockey tournaments (1996 & 2016), earn the honor of being selected to work the 1998 NHL All-Star Game in Vancouver B.C., worked 2 NHL Outdoor Games (2018 New York city & 2014 Los Angeles CA) and to top it off, reached the Stanley Cup Finals 6 different times (2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2008 & 2007). He is also one of only five current NHL officials (as of 2018) to have worked NHL games as both referee and linesman. In fact, in the early years of the NHL transitioning to the two-referees system, Heyer decided to leaves the lines and try to become a full time referee instead, taking advantage of a program that the NHL offered to a few veteran linesmen in order to fill the demand of the new system for more NHL referees in a short amount of time. He spent the next few seasons as a referee, spending time between the American Hockey League (AHL) and the NHL perfecting his new craft. He would go on and work a total of 386 NHL Regular Season Games and 2 Playoff Games as a referee before deciding to return on the lines for good. Three decades after being hired by the NHL, Heyer reached an incredible milestone that only a few on-ice officials have achieved in the history of the NHL by working his 2,000th NHL Regular Season Game on February 25, 2018 in Anaheim CA.