By Adam Kirshenblatt
Injuries are a part of the game and when people get hurt, others have to step up to a bigger role.
That’s what Bevan Mills has to do as he’s been hired as the newest member of the NHL officiating crew due to long term injuries to three full time NHL linesmen.
Tonight, Mills will be working his first Regular NHL Season Game when the Montreal Canadiens will visit the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center in Anaheim CA. He will be joined on the ice by fellow referees Brad Watson and G. Dwyer while his partner on the lines will be veteran Brian Murphy.The rookie linesman will get the chance to share in his moment with family and friends who are making the trip from B.C. to California for the milestone.
The native of Surrey, B.C., started officiating when he was 12-years-old while still playing competitively, and then took up the job full time after playing his playing career was done at 18-years-old.
After graduating high school, Mills was offered to try out for a number of junior clubs, but he knew he wanted to make his way in the hockey world through officiating. It’s in his blood as his grandfather was an official in junior and senior hockey circles, while his brother, Aaron, had already made his way to the American Hockey League (AHL) as an official and could offer sound advice.
The 28-year-old linesman has spent 10 years in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and has officiated in the WHL for eight years which includes two Memorial Cup Finals in 2013 (Saskatoon) and 2016 (Red Deer).
On the international stage, Mills was one of the linesmen chosen to work the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships in Toronto and Montreal and also selected to work the 2015 IIHF World Championships in the Czech Republic.
Mills attributes his success to those who have helped him along the way. People like the BCHL’s Peter Zerbinos and Frank Broeders who helped get him started and push him in the right direction, as well as WHL Director of Officiating, Kevin Muench, who has spent time supervising and developing Mills to be the linesman he is today.
The WHL season had already started when Mills got the call that he was being promoted to the NHL as 40/40 contracted linesman, meaning that his schedule will likely be half NHL games and the other half in the American Hockey League (AHL) to perfect his craft. Despite not being around for the NHL officiating training camp in September to get acquainted with his new found colleagues, the number of phone calls and text messages to congratulate him on making the team has made him feel quite welcome.
The NHLOA would like to congratulate Bevan on making it to the biggest level of hockey in the world and wish him a long and successful career.
By Adam Kirshenblatt