Sask.-born NHL referee Brad Watson achieves 1,000 game milestone
Brad Watson, from Saskatchewan, achieved a notable milestone as an official in the NHL after refereeing his 1,000th game Tuesday night.
"It means a lot," Watson told CBC Radio Craig Lederhouse of The Afternoon Edition Wednesday. "It's something I worked hard at."
A strong family behind an official means a lot.- NHL referee Brad Watson
The achievement was noted by the NHL with a pre-game ceremony before the match in Denver. Watson's family was on hand for that and his son, who is 9, was able to be part of the referees' warm-up skate.
"I had fitted him with an old jersey of mine, number 23, and he got to go on the ice and skate around like we do," Watson said. "It was pretty cool to have him out there and experience it."
Watson said the acknowledgment of his 1,000th game was as just as important to his family as it was to him.
"Because of their sacrifice," he said. "I miss birthdays. I miss Christmas stuff and a lot of that normal stuff that families have. A strong family behind an official means a lot."
Watson also spoke about an upcoming assignment to officiate an outdoor NHL game in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium.
"We're looking forward to it," he said. "I really don't know what to expect."
He pointed out that some of the other NHL outdoor games have been in very chilly venues and the weather in southern California has been mild lately.
"It should be comfortable," he said.