Today in Montreal, Quebec, NHL linesman Michel Jr Cormier will be celebrating his 1,000th NHL Regular Season Game before a matchup between the San Jose Sharks and the hometown Canadiens. Today’s afternoon game will be game #1,022 for Cormier who worked his actual 1,000th game in the last few weeks of last season. Officials generally choose to celebrate this milestone the following season if their milestone game happens to be in the final “crunch” of the season where teams are often fighting for a playoffs spot in order to not bring any distraction to these important games. A knee injury that required surgery right after this year’s camp had Cormier wait until December 2ndto be able to celebrate this achievement in his home rink with friends and family. For this special assignment, he will be joined on the ice by fellow referees Marc Joannette and Frederick L’Ecuyer while veteran linesmen Pierre Racicot will be his partner on the lines. Cormier a native of St-Louis-de-France, a small town located just outside of Trois-Rivières, worked his first NHL Regular Season Game back on October 10th, 2003 in Pittsburgh when the Los Angeles Kings were in town to play the Penguins.
The NHLOA would like to congratulate linesman Michel Cormier on this milestone.
MICHEL JR CORMIER BIO:
Cormier grew up in St-Louis-de-France, a small town located just outside of Trois-Rivières in the Province of Quebec, Canada.
Cormier grew up surrounded by hockey, as it was everything for the Cormier family as his dad played professionally in the USA for over 12 years. Furthermore, his dad was not the only professional player in the family; Cormier’s uncle, none other than Jean-Guy Talbot, had already made his way to the NHL, where he played over 1056 NHL games and won an impressive 7 Stanley cups.
Michel Jr started off his hockey career at a very young age, just like pretty much every other kids who growing up in Quebec. He played all the way to the Quebec Junior Major League (QJMHL). A couple of years after his playing days were over, Michel Jr wanted to get back into the hockey world and then decided to start officiating in the fall of 1994. Right away, his strong skating abilities and his size caught the officials supervisor’s attention in his hometown, and after just a few years of officiating, Cormier had already being hired by the QJMHL as a linesman.
The year 2003 was a memorable one for Cormier, as he was selected to work the World Junior Championship in Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada and, a few months later, he was chosen to work the Memorial Cup in Quebec City.
That summer (2003), former NHL director of officiating Andy Van Hellemond offered Cormier a full time NHL linesman contract. He then became only the second linesman coming from “La Mauricie” to work in the NHL after Claude Bechard. On October 10th, 2003, Michel Jr made his official entrance in the big league when he was asked to work his first NHL regular season game when the Los Angeles Kings took on the Pittsburgh Penguins at the old Mellon Arena.