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Graedy Makes The Jump To NHL

Photo Credit BC Hockey

Officiating any sport isn’t one of the easiest jobs that anyone might want to take up but it can be rewarding as long as one understands the dynamics that are required to be a success.

Not just that everyone will understand why you made the call, but rather know that you have become an official for the betterment of the game for both their Son or Daughter.

The older players will never truly understand what officials go through mainly the one playing beer league rec leagues cause this is only a night out with the gang.

We continue to hear of horror stories of players abusing officials with the most recent coming to my mind in a game played at Langley Twin Rinks on the Langley By-Pass.

Most individuals who act like this are what we refer to them as players who are for the most part self-centered and will never truly be a team player

For these players it’s about them and them alone and thankfully these players are far and few between.

The problem with “beer-league” hockey is that each league is operated separately and if a player for example gets suspended from a league in Richmond he’ll jump leagues and play in Delta or possibly Burnaby.

Right or wrong this happens and thankfully we have sanctioned leagues that control these players but are not willing to deal with players in a harsh manner.

For example if a player deliberately cross checks a player across the neck that warrants a Match penalty there are two things that happen.

First some of the “beer-league” officials don’t know the rules well enough to deal with this in the proper manner and assess the correct penalty and secondly some are only doing the game for the money.

Meaning that they will quite often will only assess a Minor rather than a Major or a Match penalty and when I asked one ref he told me that he ‘hated doing write-ups” so I guess that justifies why he gets paid.

League rep’s don’t want to criticize these officials as I am told that there is a shortage and they don’t want to lose any so instead of training officials they are using players who play in the league and are there for the money – nothing more.

Thankfully these officials are a dime a dozen and not if they are not carded by the Branch in their area the better ones are carded or certified and officiated for the right reason.

The sign of a good vs adequate official is one that commands and gets respect which is something that can never be taught and MUST BE EARNED.

We will see various changes in the upcoming season for officiating and personally knowing the ones that train and develop officials in the lower mainland for BC Hockey as well as the WHL  and you just know that they have their best product on the ice come late August.

One such individual comes from Duncan on Vancouver Island namely Graedy Hamilton (23) who will be joining the NHL for the upcoming 2023-24 season was recognized as BC Hockey’s Official of the Year for last season. 

Last season he officiated in the American Hockey League and the Western Hockey League, as well as working the IIHF’s 2023 World Junior Championship and the CHL’s Top Prospects Game.  

Last season we watched him work games in Abbotsford which was his second full season in the AHL and the past four in the WHL plus six seasons in the then sanctioned BCHL.  It’s reported that he is taking the spot that Marc Joannette held, who retired in April after 24 years in the NHL.  

We are hearing that his (Joannette) full-time slot will be filled by one of the NHL/AHL referees that is currently splitting time between both leagues, thus opening a spot for Hamilton.

He (Hamilton) will continue to work mainly in the AHL for the upcoming season and it’s hoped that he will join the NHL in the spring of 2024.

Anyone who knows or understands the program with BC Hockey knows that he is still strongly supporting young officials and is assisting in BC Hockey’s Officiating Program of Excellence camp. 

Sportswave wished Graedy all the best moving forward in his career.

We’ll have more on officials making the transition taking huge steps in their career around the middle of August.


About Sportswave



Sportswave Productions is located in Delta, BC.
Sportswave promotes/broadcasts Amateur Sports within the Lower Mainland.
He was recognized by Ravi Kahlon, BC’s MLA Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation in September 11, 2017.
In December 2022 he was Awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Pin.
Awarded Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award for tangible for significant assistant given for the better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.
SportsWave offers services that extend from sports articles, to interviews with on location webcasts on
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