Today in Ottawa, Ontario, NHL linesman Derek Nansen will be celebrating his 1,000th NHL Regular Season Game before a matchup between the San Jose Sharks and the hometown Senators. Today’s afternoon game will be game #1,009 for Nansen who opted to celebrate this milestone at home with friends and family. For this special assignment, he will be joined on the ice by fellow referees Brad Watson and Dan O’Halloran while veteran linesmen Steve Miller will be his partner on the lines. Nansen, an Ottawa native, worked his first NHL Regular Season Game back on October 11th, 2002 in Washington when the Nashville Predators were in town to play the Capitals.
The NHLOA would like to congratulate linesman Derek Nansen on this achievement.
DEREK NANSEN BIO:
Nansen just like any Canadian kids of his era played hockey growing up and dreamt of playing in the NHL as a player. The Ottawa native and former forward played until the Junior level. While playing, he also started officiating at the early age of 11 in the Ottawa/Kanata region to earn a few bucks. At age 18, after working a total of 7 seasons in the different minor hockey leagues around Ottawa, he almost hung up his skates and whistle but his now deceased mother convinced him to stay around the game and pursue his journey into the officiating world. This decision paid out four years later at age 22 when the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) hired him as a linesman, a league that Nansen would go and work for a total of 8 seasons. During his time with the OHL, Derek was also selected to work two major international tournaments; the 2001 World Championship that took place in Germany (Nuremburg, Cologne & Hanover) and the pretigious 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. His strong performance at the 2001 World Championship was rewarded by being selected to work the gold medal game. In the summer of 2001, Nansen hit another bump in the road when he was payed off from Nortel Networks as a result of the High tech industry crash. But a call from the NHL office came in that summer and he was asked if he would consider moving close to the Toronto area to do more OHL games the following season. He was also offered to work some American Hockey League (AHL) games in Hamilton, Ontario if he decided to make the move. Nansen, packed his bags without any hesitations and moved to Toronto just before the 2001-2002 hockey season. He worked both the OHL and AHL that year. Working more OHL games around the Toronto area and also being able to showcase your skills in the AHL also comes with big perks; being seeing by the NHL Officiating scouting people on a regular basis as their headquarters are in Toronto. That same season after he worked the 2002 Winter Olympics, Nansen was also selected by the OHL to work the 2002 CHL Memorial Cup in Guelph, Ontario and the Calder Cup Final. His hard work and strong on-ice performance were recognized that summer when former NHL Director of Officiating Andy Van Hellemond offered him a NHL Linesman contract.