Tonight in Buffalo, NY, NHL linesman Brad Kovachik will join a very select group of officials by celebrating his 1,500th NHL Regular Season Game before a matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the hometown Sabres. Tonight’s game will be Kovachik’s 1,504th career NHL Regular Season Game. For this special assignment, Brad will be joined on the ice by fellow referees Tim Peel and Ian Walsh while veteran linesman Steve Miller will be his partner on the lines. NHL linesman Derek Amell will also be in attendance serving in a standby role and will be part of the festivities. This is an incredible achievement by Kovachik who signed his first contract with the National Hockey League back in the summer of 1996 as a minor league linesman.
The NHLOA would like to congratulate linesman Brad Kovachik on this amazing milestone!
Brad Kovachik bio:
Kovachik was born and raised in Woodstock, Ontario, a city located about an hour west of Toronto. The former centerman, played his youth hockey there dreaming just like any other Canadian kids of making the NHL as a player. He would go on and play until the junior levels dressing up for the Woodstock Navy Vets in the Provincial Junior Hockey League of the Ontario Hockey Association in his final three seasons (1989 to 1992). His officiating journey started at the early age of 12, working local games at the old Woodstock Perry Street Arena on the weekends to earn a few bucks. Nine years later, Kovachik was hired by the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) as a linesman. He worked the OHL for a total of three seasons and was selected to work the prestigious Memorial Cup tournament hosted in Peterborough, Ontario in his last season. His on-ice performance during the tournament earned him the ultimate assignment of working the championship game between the host team, the Peterborough Petes and the Granby Prédateurs. The National Hockey League (NHL) offered him a minor leagues linesman contract that summer. He made his NHL debut in Phialdelphia on October 10th, 1996 when the Los Angeles Kings were in town to play the Flyers. His teammates that night were referee Stephen Walkom and linesman Ron Asseltine. It only took him only one season as a minor league linesman under contract before being promoted to a full time NHL linesman status in the summer of 1997. Since his debuts with the National Hockey League, Kovachik as been assigned to several major and important assignments; 2004 World Cup of Hockey, two outdoor games (the original Winter Classic in Buffalo (2008) & the 2017 Stadium Series in Pittsburgh), 2012 NHL All-Star Game held in Ottawa, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia and has been selected twice to work the NHL Stanley Cup Finals (Los Angeles vs New York Rangers (2014) & Pittsburgh vs Nashville (2017)).