NHL referee Marc Joannette will be celebrating an incredible milestone this evening at the Centre Bell in Montreal, QC. The Verdun native became only the 9th NHL referee in history to work 1,500 NHL regular season games a few weeks ago on February 12th, 2023 in Philadelphia when he officiated a game between the Seattle Kraken and the Flyers. The National Hockey League will recognize Marc’s achievement tonight before the New York Rangers and Canadiens matchup. Fellow referee Frederick L’Ecuyer with linesmen Jonny Murray and Michel Cormier will have the honor of working this special assignment with Marc while several family members and friends will also be in the attendance.
Joannette’s NHL debut came on October 1st, 1999 in Buffalo at the old Marine Midland Arena, a game that featured the Tampa Bay Lightning and the hometown Sabres. Over the following 24 seasons, the man called “Jojo” was assigned important assignments including; the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, the 2008 “original” Winter Classic at Ralph Stadium in Buffalo (Pittsburgh vs Buffalo), the 2009 NHL All-Star Game held in Montreal, the 2010 Winter Olympics (Vancouver, Canada), the 2014 Stadium Series at Soldier Field in Chicago (Pittsburgh vs Chicago), the 2017 Centennial Classic at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa (Montreal vs Ottawa) and had the honor of being selected three times to work the prestigious Stanley Cup Finals (2008 – Pittsburgh vs Detroit, 2009 – Detroit vs Pittsburgh & 2018 – Washington vs Vegas).Joannette’s 1,000th NHL regular season game was also celebrated at the Bell Center in Montreal on October 17th, 2015 when he officiated a game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Canadiens.
Marc Joannette Bio:
The Verdun, QC native started his officiating journey at the early age of 14 after his father, an organizer in the local minor hockey association, suggested he attend an officiating camp. It didn’t took long before he fell in love with the challenge and started wearing the black and white uniform that same season. He would continue his playing days until the age of 17 when he decided to turn his attention to officiating. Joannette spent his first three seasons mainly working all levels of minor hockey in the Lac Saint-Louis region and in the west portion of the Montreal Island. His natural talent was quickly recognize at age of 18 when he made the officiating team of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) as a linesman, a league where he would spend a total of 11 seasons. He would eventually transition to the referee position in the QMJHL. Joannette realized around the age of 23 that his passion could potentially land him a position with the National Hockey League when he was offered to join the defunct “NHL Officiating Trainee Program”, where he was assigned to work several minor pro and junior major leagues across North America learning the ropes and gaining valuable experience while still working the QJMHL. In the summer of 1998, after completing five full seasons in the “Trainee program”, the NHL offered him a full-time minor leagues referee contract, working primarily American Hockey League (AHL) games while gradually earning some NHL assignments. Joannette was promoted to a full time NHL referee status in the summer of 2000.
The NHLOA would like to congratulate referee Marc Joannette on reaching the 1,500 NHL regular season games milestone.