On April 16th in Calgary, NHL referee Brad Meier worked his last game before calling it quits after 24 years of service with the National Hockey League. Meier who made his NHL debut on October 23rd, 1999 at the old Civic Arena in Pittsburgh (Hurricanes vs Penguins) left the ice with a total of 1,459 NHL Regular Season games worked along with 97 NHL Playoffs games.
During his time with the NHL, Meier was assigned to several important assignments including the 2009 NHL All-Star Game (Montreal), the 2011 Heritage Classic in Calgary (Canadiens vs Flames), the 2014 Winter Olympics (Sochi, Russia), the 2017 Centennial Classic in Toronto (Red Wings vs Maple Leafs), the 2017 Stanley Cup Final (Penguins vs Predators) and most recently the 2019 Heritage Classic hosted in Regina, SK (Flames vs Jets).
Having the honor of working Meier’s last game were referee Graham Skilliter, linesmen Kiel Murchison and Trent Knorr.
The NHLOA would like to congratulate NHL referee Brad Meier on his incredible career.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Meier grew up south of the border watching his father play professional hockey until the age of nine when his family moved to Saskatoon, Canada. He later attended high school there and played all of his minor hockey near his new hometown before reaching the Junior B level. His officiating journey started at the age of 12 working all levels of minor hockey. After high school, Meier attended the University of Saskatchewan (USask) continuing to work his way up to through many Leagues throughout Saskatchewan.
After graduating from the College of Physical Education and then the College of Education, he was hired by the City of Saskatoon Fire Department as a full-time firefighter while still officiating hockey games. In 1987, Meier had a breakthrough in his officiating career when he reached the Western Hockey League (WHL) a league he would work for a total of 12 seasons. His on-ice performance was soon recognized during his time with the WHL and he was soon offered professional opportunities with assignments in the West Coast Hockey League (WCHL), the International Hockey League (IHL) and in the American Hockey League (AHL) while also reaching the highest level of certification with Hockey Canada.
Hockey Canada assigned him to a few international competitions during his amateur journey that included; the 1995 World Juniors (Red Deer, Canada), the 1996 World Championships (Vienna, Austria) and the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
The National Hockey League offered him an NHL minor leagues referee contract in the summer of 1998. With his professional officiating career taking off, Meier retired from the Saskatoon Fire Department that same summer to focus solely on his new challenge. He would work a total of two seasons as a minor league referee, splitting his time between AHL and NHL games before being promoted to a full-time NHL referee status in the summer of 2000.