The ECHL announced on Thursday that Camden Nuckols and Oliver “Butch” Mousseaux are the co-recipients of the 2015-16 Ryan Birmingham Memorial Award.
The award honors an On-Ice Official for his contributions and dedication to the league officiating staff and is determined in voting of ECHL On-Ice Officials. It is named in honor of ECHL linesman Ryan Birmingham who tragically lost his life in an automobile accident in May 2007.
Nuckols passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 17, 2015 following a brief illness at the age of 25. He worked as an ECHL linesman in Orlando for the previous three seasons, working a total of 61 regular-season games and two playoff games. In addition to working as an ECHL official, Nuckols won a Florida state hockey championship as a teenager and officiated collegiate and Orlando Youth Hockey Association tournaments.
Nuckols is survived by his parents, CC and Susan, and his fiancée, Kelsey Carew.
Mousseaux passed away on March 25 after sustaining injuries at a collegiate hockey game in Grand Rapids, Mich. He had been an ECHL official since the 1999-2000 season, working over 300 games, while also serving as a collegiate referee. He was a full-time WCHA referee for 16 seasons, beginning with the 2003-04 campaign; and, a part-time official in the NCHC since the league's inception in 2013-14. He was also a USA Hockey official since 1998, and also had assignments in the American Hockey League and Central Hockey League. As the first Native American to work a game at the top level of the sport, Mousseaux's National Hockey League officials’ sweater and skates are in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Mousseaux is survived by his wife, Macaire; their three beautiful children Sam (SJ), Abbie and Olivia; his parents Oliver and Mary; sisters, Beth and Fran; and his brothers, Charlie and Joey.
“It is a terrific tribute by our officiating staff to recognize the lives and careers of both Camden and Butch in voting them co-recipients of the Birmingham Award,” said ECHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst. “While both individuals were at different stages of their lives and careers, both Camden and Butch touched so many lives through there unselfish acts both on and off the ice and they both are so deserving of this award.”
The ECHL will present an award to Nuckols’ and Mousseaux’s families during the 2016-17 season.
The 2007-08 edition of the ECHL Rule Book was dedicated to the memory of Birmingham, who was featured on the back cover, and ECHL on-ice officials wore a commemorative patch on their left shoulder that has 60, which is the number that Birmingham wore, and the initials RJB.
Birmingham began his officiating career when he was 12 years old in the Southgate Minor Hockey Association and worked his way into the USA Hockey Junior Officiating Development Program in 2003. Birmingham was hired as a full-time linesman by the ECHL in 2006 and worked 83 games in the regular season and four games in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, including his final game, Florida at Charlotte, on April 17, 2007.
There were 28 former ECHL officials scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2015-16 with referees Jake Brenk, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Mike Leggo, Dave Lewis, T.J. Luxmore, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Graham Skilliter, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Brandon Gawryletz, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
Ryan Birmingham Memorial Award Winners
2015-16 Camden Nuckols
Oliver “Butch” Mousseaux
2014-15 Scott Senger
2013-14 Travis Jackson
2012-13 Brad Phillips
2011-12 Jason Rollins
2010-11 Paul Carnathan
2009-10 Ray King
2008-09 Michel Voyer
2007-08 David Jones