Referee Wes McCauley was recently featured on Sportnet’s Hometown Hockey as one of their Home Team Heroes. He talked about growing up as the son of an NHL referee, getting drafted as a player, and his memorable announcements.
“Sometimes the mic doesn’t work, right?” McCauley offered. “I try to lighten it up and let them know you like being out there.”
His father, John McCauley was an NHL referee from 1966 to 1981. He moved off ice, becoming the NHL’s Director of Officiating in 1986 — a position he held until his passing in 1989.
Wes started his hockey career, like most do, as a player. He was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 1990 and played in the minors. Ultimately, Wes followed in his father’s footsteps and pulled on the stripes.
“His first session, he was a linesman,” recalls linesman Scott Driscoll. “I had to tell him, ‘Okay Wes, you have to stop at the blueline. Linesmen aren’t typically on the goal line. They’re usually around the blue line and the red line.’
“The next time he was on the ice he was a referee. He was a natural. Talk about a duck taking to water.”
Wes made his NHL debut in 2003. He’s since gone on to officiate 1,032 regular season games and 141 playoff games, including six trips to the Stanley Cup Final.
In speaking with Sportsnet, McCauley recalled three officiating notes his dad had written down.
1. Call the match penalties
2. Call the scoring opportunities
3. Call the obvious foul that everyone sees
It’s clear that McCauley learned quite a bit from his father, and has certainly made him proud as one of the league’s top officials.
“It’s one of those things that you never take for granted. Just try to do the best you can and hopefully people like it.”