Officials training camp opens on Friday

The ECHL announced on Thursday its annual On-Ice Officials Training Camp will be held Friday through Sunday in Toledo, Ohio at the Huntington Center and Park Inn Hotel.

The preseason camp will include returning members of the officiating staff, newly-hired referees and linesmen and the ECHL supervisory staff.

“The ECHL Officiating Department is pleased with the dedication of our Officials whose preseason preparation and training will carry them into the regular season and through the Kelly Cup Finals,” said ECHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst. “We have NHL prospects that are joining and returning to the ECHL Officiating Staff as well as a very good core group of veteran officials that have been around for a few years.”

The ECHL Officiating Department is managed by Vice President of Hockey Operations, Joe Ernst. In addition to the on-ice officials the staff includes: Commissioner Emeritus Patrick J. Kelly, and Supervisors Jim Doyle, Dave Madsen Mike McDevitt, Jerry Pateman, Mike Pearce, Brad Phillips, Jason Rollins and Mark Wilkins.

“The Supervisory staff that we have at the ECHL is second to only the NHL,” Ernst said. “The dedication and the pride these gentlemen take in helping develop these officials throughout the season is a credit to each one of them.

“The officials working in the ECHL receive coaching that is designed to get them to the next level of hockey as well as the level of play that we have each night in the ECHL,” Ernst said. “It is evidenced by the number of officials who have moved up to the NHL. Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, T.J. Luxmore, Matt MacPherson, Jon McIsaac and Graham Skilliter all have been hired by the NHL over the last six seasons, as well as numerous referees and linesman that have been hired to work full-time in the AHL. The last four referees that have been hired to work in the NHL full-time have all come out of the ECHL, which is a credit to everyone involved in the League.”

The officials at the training camp will participate in fitness testing, on-ice instruction, rules tests, team building exercises and video sessions as well as receive a thorough review of the ECHL Rule Book and League directives with an emphasis on Rule Enforcement Standards.

Mike Murray, Vice President of Hockey Operations for the American Hockey League and Toby Oothoudt, Off-Ice Crew Chief for the Toledo Walleye, will address the officials as well as Walleye coaches Derek Lalonde and Dan Watson.

Training camp will include officials and League staff dinner on Saturday night at The Blarney Restaurant located in downtown Toledo.

The ECHL would like to thank the Toledo Walleye Organization; Julie Bolfa of Destination Toledo; Ed Beczynski of The Blarney; Steve Miller, Scott Fuernstein, Amanda Caig, Mike McCall and Jesus Rivera of the Huntington Center and Tobias Bird and the staff at the Park Inn for making this all possible with their efforts.

There are 27 former ECHL officials scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2014-15 with referees Darcy Burchell, 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, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.


About the ECHL

Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 21 teams in 14 states for its 27th season in 2014-15. There have been 541 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 29 who made their NHL debuts in the 2013-14 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 28 of the 30 NHL teams in 2014-15, marking the 18th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at as well as on Facebook and Twitter.