PRINCETON, N.J. – The editors of Referee Magazine have selected ECHL Director of Officiating Bryan Lewis as one of “The 52 Most Influential Individuals In Officiating History” as featured in the November issue.
The list covers a wide array of sports including, but not limited to football, baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey, and includes officials as well as non-officials, who the publication feels changed the officiating industry with their expertise and body of work.
“Bryan’s name in the hockey industry is synonymous with hard work and integrity,” said ECHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Rod Pasma. “Anyone who has come in contact with Bryan, be it an official, player, coach, team personnel or fan, can sense his desire to improve their knowledge of the officiating business.
“His preparation and attention to detail teamed with his passion for officiating make him a deserving recipient of this honor.”
Lewis is cited as being “integral in developing the details of the two-referee, two linesmen system, which is still the way the National Hockey League game is officiated.”
He began working as an on-ice official in the NHL in 1966-67, officiating over 1,000 regular season games and a number of Stanley Cup Playoff games as well as working the 1981 NHL All-Star Game and the 1984 Canada Cup Finals. Following the death of John McCauley in 1989, Lewis was named the Director of Officiating for the NHL and remained in the position until his retirement in 2000.
The editors state that the people on the list fit into different categories including those who: influenced what officials know and believe, directly helped to shape the ways officials view themselves, influenced the way officials carry out their responsibilities, were ideally suited to a particular moment in which they wielded influence, through the power of an idea, influenced a broad number of officials on a sustainable basis, shaped the institutions that affect officiating and who can be adjudged to have been, or to be, influential more than famous.
The other hockey officials honored are McCauley, Bill Chadwick, and Ian Scotty Morrison.
Chadwick who is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, developed hand signals to let fans know why he was blowing the whistle.
McCauley, whose son Wes was a referee in the ECHL, was a former NHL referee and NHL director of officiating who mentored many top-level officials, including Lewis.
Also a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Morrison was a former NHL official and NHL referee-in-chief from 1965-86 who is responsible for the development and training of scores of professional and amateur hockey officials.
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• Affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League, marking the 11th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 333 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
• There were 69 former ECHL players on NHL opening-day rosters and there have been 188 former ECHL players who have played their first game in the NHL in the past six seasons.
• Twenty-six former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2006-07, including two who played in both the ECHL and the NHL as goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji played for Reading and Los Angeles while defenseman Bryan Young skated for Stockton and Edmonton. Dave McKee played for Augusta and dressed for five games as the backup goaltender for Stanley Cup champion Anaheim.
• Four former ECHL players have made their NHL debut this season: former Johnstown Chiefs and Fresno Falcons goaltender Dmitri Patzold (San Jose on Oct. 7), former San Diego goaltender Tyler Weiman (Colorado on Oct. 4), former Charlotte right wing Craig Weller (Phoenix on Oct. 4) and former Phoenix RoadRunners center Daniel Winnik (Phoenix Coyotes on Oct. 4).
• Record 51 former ECHL players played their first NHL game in 2005-06.
• ECHL has been represented on last seven Stanley Cup champions.
• 14 Former ECHL coaches on NHL staffs.
• ECHL has been represented on last 18 Calder Cup champions.
• ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 18 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.
• The Stockton Thunder and the City of Stockton will host the Chase Chevrolet ECHL All-Star Game presented by Jackson Rancheria and Bud Light at Stockton Arena on Jan. 23, 2008 and the Chase Chevrolet ECHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Jackson Rancheria and Bud Light on Jan. 22, 2008.
• In the last five seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,000 call-ups involving more than 1,000 players since 2002-03.
ECHL and its member teams contributed nearly $3 million for charity and relief funds in 2006-07.
• Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.