The NHLOA was privileged to have Ontario amateur official Kevin Brown as a special guest to our recent training camp held in Buffalo, NY.
Kevin started officiating at the age of 17. It was a great way to keep busy and make some extra money in the winter. He worked his way up through the OHA even working some minor junior hockey. He was also involved with the local officials association, and was the Vice President at the time of the incident
One night, Kevin was waiting to intervene on a fight between two junior players. As one player fell to the ice, he cart wheeled and the skate blade punctured Kevin’s carotid artery. The injury lead to a major stroke that affected a third of his brain. He spent a total of four month in the hospital to recover and rehab. At that time, he stepped down from the officials association to focus on rehab. Three years ago, he returned to help with mentoring and developing the house league officials that had just started their journey into officiating.
Kevin was able to sit with us for some in class session and show his talent at our annual charity poker game held later that evening.
“For someone who is supervising and helping mentor teenagers just beginning to officiate, it was interesting to see and hear the discussions on communicating with coaches and players to help build rapport with them. Also, getting some ideas on how to approach players set for a face off. It was great to make some face to face connections with officials that had reached out or contacted me after the injury, as well as confirming how small the hockey world and officiating brotherhood is. Everyone was welcoming and received me as if I was a part of this team”.
While at camp, Kevin shared with us his involvement in the upcoming book, Everyday Hockey Heroes, available October 30.