Posted by Dean Holden at March 17th, 2013
by Chris Pryor, 14 March 2013
At some point your hockey playing days are going to end. Then what? This could be after high school, college or even pro for that matter. What do I do now?
Do I still want to be involved in the game? If so there might be another avenue to keep that fire burning – refereeing.
With the rules of the game today being under constant scrutiny and the two ref/two linesman system becoming more and more commonplace, the need for quality refereeing is a priority. Ex-players not only already have the basic skill set (skating), but they have that “feel” that may be a harder element to acquire. This is something you really can’t teach and it’s hard to put a finger on, but players who have been there know the feeling. You can’t learn this with books or through video; you need to have lived the game from a players perspective. The ebb and flow of a game is something that cannot be replicated by any other source but the source itself, and that’s having to have been there and done that.
Hockey is always looking for good players, but in saying that, good refs are also a hot commodity. Yes, it’s a tough business and there are no guarantees, but it’s a good alternative for when your playing days end, where you can make a good living and still be involved in the game that you love.
Chris Pryor is the director of hockey operations for the Philadelphia Flyers. He is in charge of the amateur and pro scouting departments. A native of St. Paul, Pryor spent eight seasons as a scout for the Flyers. He played parts of six seasons in the NHL with the Minnesota North Stars and New York Islanders.