Tonight, NHL Linesman Andrew Smith will be working his first Regular Season NHL Game when the St.Louis Blues visit the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh PA.
He will be joined on the ice by referees Marc Joannette and Trevor Hanson while veteran linesman Scott Driscoll will be working the lines with him. Smith, a native of Kitchener, Ontario played one season at Plattsburgh NY State University followed by two seasons at the University of Waterloo before hanging up his skates for good as a player at the end of the 2015-16 season.
The former right-winger started his officiating career over a decade ago when he was 14, working in the small rinks around his hometown. A product of the Kitchener Minor Hockey Association himself as a player, he was encouraged to give officiating a go in his early teens by league official and family friend Fernando Nogueira. “I knew he was always a strong skater and a good hockey player and I just threw it out to him,” said Nogueira to the Waterloo Region Record
, who has also worked for the KMHA in various capacities for the past 33 years.
There were a lot of 6am minor hockey games over the 12 years of his officiating career, while he was working his way up the officiating system. His accession towards his dream job took a major step up last year when he finally retired as a player and attended the 2016 NHL’s Officiating Amateur Exposure Combine in Buffalo. His performance at the combine got him noticed and he was hired by the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) as a linesman where he first started on a part-time basis but, by the end of the season he was selected to work the league final and also the Memorial Cup in Windsor. His hard work on and off the ice along with his passion for the game and his dedication towards officiating also got him a few assignments in the American Hockey League (AHL) last year. Smith was hired this summer as a full time NHL Linesman.
The NHLOA and its members would like to congratulate Andrew on his first NHL Regular Season Game and wish him a long and successful career.