Referee Jim Chandik is getting ready to call it a career. The veteran official plans to retire at the end of this season, his 20th with the Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey (LNAH) and third as the league’s Director of Officials.  His retirement nearly came unexpectedly early after a dangerous hit from behind.

Chandik was injured last week during a game between the Cornwell River Kings and the Sorel-Tracy Blackhawks. The veteran official was taken out from behind by Blackhawks forward Dominic Savoie, who appeared to catch his skate blade on the ice.

Chandik went down hard, hitting his head on the ice.  He lay motionless as the medical staff tended to him.  After nearly five minutes, Chandik appeared to regain consciousness.

Chandik was helped off the ice. Referee Stephane Chagnon worked the game solo with linesmen Steve Venne and Regis Savard while Chandik was assessed by medical personnel. As we know well, on-ice officials are tough. Chandik returned to the ice later in the period.

Hopefully the rest of Chandik’s final season goes more smoothly than this game.  Here’s hoping for a safe end to the year and a smooth ride off into the sunset – or at least off the ice – for referee Jim Chandik.


(stick-tap to Ashley March for the heads up)