Severe winter weather lead to NHL debuts for a pair of linesmen.
Chad and Cody Huseby are on standby to make their NHL debuts tonight in Edmonton as the Oilers host the Vancouver Canucks.
Linesmen Caleb Apperson and Travis Gawryletz were originally scheduled to work the game alongside referees Chris Schlenker and Carter Sandlak. Apperson worked the prior night in Vancouver, while Gawryletz was returning from a week off, having last officiated in Los Angeles on December 17.
How are the Huseby brothers able to step in? Rule 31.11:
If, through misadventure or sickness, the Referees and Linesmen appointed are prevented from appearing, the League will make every attempt to find suitable replacement officials.
Travel issues due to weather are clearly classified as ‘misdaventure’.
If the Husebys weren’t available, the league may have had to tap two players – one from each side.
If [the Coaches of the two Clubs] are unable to agree [on Linesmen], they shall appoint a player from each side who shall act as Linesman.
The twin brothers, 36, made their AHL debuts earlier this season. The duo worked the Calgary Wranglers’ home opener against the Coachella Valley Firebirds.
The Huseby brothers spoke with the Red Deer Advocate about their AHL debuts.
“It was awesome,” Chad said. “It was our first taste of professional hockey. We had done just a few exhibition games a little bit before with some Flames and Oilers prospects games but it was our first game in the AHL. It was cool because it was the franchise’s opening game for the Wranglers as well. Being able to work with Cody has always been fun out there with him.”
The duo has officiated in hockey for 25 years and it all started in their hometown of Rocky Mountain House. They first began officiating minor hockey games in the community at 13 years old after their uncle Blair Andrew, who is also a longtime referee, asked them to give it a shot. They had no prior officiating experience but both played minor hockey and knew the game well. After that, they moved to Red Deer to go to college where they officiated games at all levels of hockey, including the Western Hockey League for the last 13 years.
Now, years of preparation and hard work – along with a winter storm – will see them wearing the stripes in the National Hockey League tonight.
Congratulations to Chad and Cody Huseby on their NHL debuts!