ECHL linesman Terry Wicklum will work his 900th ECHL game on Saturday as the Greenville Swamp Rabbits host the Jacksonville Icemen.
Wicklum will be joined on the ice by linesman Paul Carnathan and referee Liam Sewell.
From the ECHL:
In his 22nd season as an ECHL official, Wicklum worked his first game in the league in Biloxi, Mississippi on October 18, 1996 along with his brother, Mick, and Steve Barton. He was selected to work the 1999 ECHL All-Star Game in Mississippi and has worked two Kelly Cup Finals during his career.
Wicklum becomes just the third linesman, and fourth official, in the ECHL’s 30-year history to officiate at least 900 games, joining Norm Eberle and Brad Phillips and referee Joe Ernst.
“It is quite the accomplishment to work 900 games in the ECHL as only three other officials have reached this milestone,” said ECHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst. “Terry is one of the best teammates on the officiating staff as it’s never been about him, but about the game, which says a lot about him as a person. I had the privilege to work with Terry in many games over the years including an ECHL All-Star Game. He is the same guy now that he was when he first started as he always comes to the rink ready to work and enjoys being part of the game. We at the ECHL congratulate Terry on reaching 900 games and thank him for the many sacrifices that he has made to be part of the ECHL.”
“To be honest, I was pretty surprised when Joe (Ernst) called me and told me that this would be 900; I had stopped counting 15 years ago,” Wicklum said. “I’m a little embarrassed by all the fuss, after all, a good night at work for us is to slip out the back door after the game and not have anyone remember who worked. It did make me stop and think how fortunate I have been. All the years, all the places, all the hockey. But what I kept coming back to was the people. Like anything in life that is worthwhile doing, you can’t do it alone.
“I’ll never forget the people,” he continued. “I’ve got a lot of friends that are now the top officials in the NHL. They spent years in the ECHL learning and their craft. All the talented guys that worked hard in this league, but didn’t get to hear their number called for one reason or another. But I place just as much value on the relationships that I’ve made with people that never got the opportunity that I did. From starting at the minor hockey level in Perth and Smiths Falls Ontario, moving on to Junior in Ottawa, and then getting a shot at professional hockey from a hockey legend.
“None of it would have been possible without the people I met along the way. My family that understands that I am busy on Friday and Saturday nights for six months a year. The guys at the Cobbler Shop that made sure my gear got fixed quickly, the neighbors that picked up a skinny kid with a big bag hitchhiking to the rink. Paul Vaillancort, Dave Patterson, and Steve Sleigh who just kept giving me games. Jason Mercer, Jason McCausland, Kirk Wood, Scott Loney, Matt Stevenson, John Moulton, and all the guys and gals in Ottawa. Everyone that worked in the Ottawa Valley in the early 90s, Paul Boese, Wes Desarmia, Adam Brown, Dave Schilling, Charlie Harrison, Ian Devonshire, Steve Bridson, Mark Tugnutt, Mike Coldrey, the Telfords, Neil Kodrenko, the Bingleys, Billy Black and Kenny Johnson, too many more to name them all. Michael Frank, the off-ice crews, trainers, coaches, players, my teammates, and the fans of the ECHL. These are the people that are in every hockey community. These are the people that make it tick. These are the people that make hockey special.
“It’s impossible to mention everyone, but even after the memories of the games fade, the people stay strong. I remember each and every one of you, thank you.”
Congratulations to Terry Wicklum on this milestone achievement!