When you are young, you never know what your friends will become or what kind of cool things they’ll experience. And subsequently, what awesome stories you will be able to “borrow.”
Today’s story is one of an old friend I met during my minor hockey days. We were acquaintances growing up and played on the same team for a year or two. One year he suffered a pretty rough injury (for the sake of legitimacy, we’ll call it an upper body injury) and got into refereeing as a way to get back on the ice and to stay in shape.
It turns out he was a much better referee than hockey player. As the years flew by, he moved up the referee ladder, through the Central Hockey League, among other notable leagues. He ended up spending more than two years traveling the United States as a linesman for the American Hockey League.
I had no idea my friend was achieving this kind of success. It wasn’t until “Mrs. Burgundy” dragged me to a house party years later that I found out what he’d been up to. My better half knew my friend well through high school. Small world.
With all the travel and time spent over the last decade, my friend made lasting friendships with guys who are NHL referees and linesmen today. He’s even friends with them on Facebook!
On Tuesday, a number of NHL referees revealed to their Facebook friends they are no longer allowed to use the popular social networking tool. While actual messages — or wall posts — varied, many referees had the phrase “…legally no longer allowed [to use Facebook]” as their Facebook status.
I find this interesting. The NHL doesn’t really have a social media policy set in stone, although recent reports suggest teams have addressed social media use with players. I haven’t heard of any similar situations for referees. Then again, it’s unlikely an NHL referee will pull a “Bissonnette” in the foreseeable future.
The revelation of referees not being allowed to use Facebook isn’t all that interesting, but it makes you wonder what the league’s reasoning is (and what’s up with “legally”?). It also makes you wonder if this is the beginning of a league-wide social media policy for players, referees and anyone else directly employed by the NHL.