Ken Bodendistel started out as a stick boy for the Guelph Biltmores in the mid-60’s, and played the game of hockey to the junior B level but it was officiating that he loved the most. Whether it was pulling on the stripes or helping others earn theirs, his love of officiating seemed to be ingrained into his soul.
As an early member of the Guelph Hockey Referees Association and with help and guidance from the likes of fellow Hall of Fame member Lou Maschio, it wasn’t long before Bodendistel’s talent had him donning the stripes in the Ontario Hockey Association. There (and in the Ontario Hockey League) he was recognized as one of the top officials seven years running.
He even had a brief career in the National Hockey League handling his first game (as a linesman) at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1969 with good friend John D’Amico. His most famous moment came in an exhibition game between Boston and St. Louis. That was the night Ted Green and Wayne Maki got into a horrible stick swinging incident. It was the first time charges were laid in any professional sport.
Since retiring Bodendistel has helped over 20 officials from the Ontario Hockey League achieve their dream of working in the NHL by acting as a supervisor of officials. His mentorship was clearly demonstrated when fellow Guelphites Paul Devorski and Bill McCreary invited him to be on hand for their 1,000 and 1,500 NHL games respectively. Bodendistel is now in his 34 year as an official’s supervisor and approaching 40 years in Major Junior Hockey.
Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Official category – on October 27, 2010