Veteran NHL Referee Dave Jackson set to work his final NHL game tonight in Los Angeles, CA.
Tonight, NHL Referee Dave Jackson will be working the final game of his 25-year NHL career in Los Angeles, CA. He will take the ice one last time as the Arizona Coyotes visit the hometown Kings. Joining him on the ice tonight, will be fellow referee Marc Joannette while veteran linesmen Pierre Racicot and Lonnie Cameron will be working the lines. The Pointe-Claire, QC native is the NHL’s longest-tenured active NHL referee and the last one to have worked seasons in the old “one man” referee system. Under contract with the NHL since the summer of 1989, he made his NHL debut a long time ago on December 22, 1990 at the old Quebec Colisee. The New Jersey Devils were in town that night to play the hometown and now-defunct Nordiques in a matchup that featured Jackson’s childhood idol; Guy Lafleur. He was joined on the ice that night with linesmen Ron Asseltine and Ray Scapinello. Jackson will be hanging his skates with a final count of 1,546 NHL Regular Season Games and 83 NHL Playoffs Games. During his officiating journey, Jackson was selected two times to work an NHL All-Star Game (2002 Los Angeles & 2018 Tampa), reached twice the NHL Conference Finals in the postseason, he was also part of the officiating crew that represented the NHL at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and skated in an outdoor game in 2016 at the Coors Field stadium in Denver, CO as part of the Stadium Series games. When the final buzzer will be heard at the Staples Center in Los Angeles tonight, the NHLOA brotherhood will be loosing a great member and an even better person when then man wearing uniform no.8 will be calling it a career. The NHLOA would like to congratulate referee Dave Jackson for his terrific career and wishes him all the best for his retirement. Well done Jacks! Dave Jackson’s bio: The Pointe-Claire, QC native started as a minor hockey referee at age 14 in the West Island Hockey Association in the western suburbs of Montreal. As a young official, Jackson spent his first few years learning the officiating craft in the low categories. He reached the inter-city levels after his third season as an official but almost gave up being a minor hockey referee the following year after an ugly incident happened to him outside the local arena in Lachine, QC. Some parents physically attacked him and his officiating partner when exiting the arena after a bantam game. Jackson credits his mentor Doug Hayward for convincing him to stay around the game, reminding him that he had a bright future as a referee. This was 1982. From this point on, his progression as an official took off and he was going thru the different levels of hockey in the province of Quebec at a furious pace. Jackson reached the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League quickly only a few years later. Then, the National Hockey League got interested in him and invited him to join their defunct “trainee program” in 1985 at age 21, making him one of the youngest officials to be part of this initiative from the NHL that had identified officials traveling across the three different Major Juniors leagues in Canada and some minor professional leagues in the U.S. in order to gain experience and knowledge, providing ready prospects for the big league when they had an official retiring or being terminated. During his “trainee” years, Jackson was selected to work the 1988 Memorial Cup in Chicoutimi, QC where he made great impression on an NHL officiating supervisor attending. In the summer of 1989, Jackson was offered an NHL minor-leagues referee contract when he was 24. He made his NHL debut on December 22, 1990 in Quebec city at the old Colisée when the New jersey Devils were in town to play the now-defunct Nordiques. He would go on and spend four seasons under an NHL minor-league referee contract before being promoted under an NHL full-time referee status in the summer of 1993. Almost three decades later, Jackson has had many milestones and important assignments during his journey wearing the black and white sweater. His first NHL Playoffs Game was on April 22nd, 1999 in Raleigh, NC when the Boston Bruins visited the hometown Hurricanes. He was selected to work the 2002 NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles, CA and was also part of the officiating crew selected to work the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also worked an outdoor game on February 27th, 2016 when he skated during the 2016 Coors Light Stadium Series game opposing the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche. Being around for almost three decade also means a lot of hockey games worked. In fact, Jackson worked his 1,000th NHL Regular Season Game back in 2008 (December 20th) in his hometown of Montreal when the Buffalo Sabres visited the Canadiens. He would reach a very exclusive group of referee on January 15th 2018 when he reached the impressive milestone of skating in his 1,500th NHL Regular Season Game in Denver, CO (Ducks vs Avalanche).