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Mark Shewchyk

Q&A with this month's featured official

Published: March 01, 2014

Q: Where were you born?
A: Hamilton (Ontario) Canada
Q: How old are you?              
A: 39 years old
Q: What year did you get hired by the NHL?
A: 2003
Q: Are you a linesman or a referee?
A: Linesman
Q: What is your jersey number? Any reason behind this number?
A: I am wearing jersey number 92, no particular reason behind it as it was assign to me by the NHL when hired.
Q: What is your nickname within the group?
A: I have a few… Shewy, Shew-dog, Chucker and nowadays Scott Cherrey!!! (See explanation below at the funny story from the Winter Classic.)
Q: Who was your first training camp roommate?
A: Vaughn Rody was my first training camp roommate.
Q: How old were you when you first started officiating? Why did you start?
A: I was 23 when I first started to officiate. My playing days were over and I still wanted to be involved with the game and I wanted to make some extra money while doing so. I attended the North American School of Officiating and was hired from this clinic to work the OHA. The instructors for this school were, Greg and Paul Devorski, Scott Driscoll, and Stephen Walkom.
Q: Did you play hockey, and if so, for how long, or until what age?
A: I played hockey from the age of 4 until I was 19. I finished my hockey career with the Flamborough Gamblers Jr. C team.
Q: Have you ever sustained an injury while officiating a hockey game?
A: Yes I have sustained many injuries from officiating. Many stitches, a broken nose (from a Shea Weber slap shot) and a torn MCL in my knee.
Q: Do you have any superstitions?
A: No.
Q: What leagues did you work before joining the NHL staff?
A: Before joining the NHL I officiated in the OHA (Ontario Hockey Association), OHL (Ontario Hockey League) and the AHL (American Hockey League).
Q: Who has helped you the most throughout your journey to the NHL staff?
A: My father, who was also an NHL linesman/referee, was a huge support for me while working my way up the levels. With his officiating background, it was like having a supervisor at every game.
Q: What is the most memorable game you have worked so far?
A: My first playoff game and the winter classic rank right up there but I would have to say my first NHL game is the most memorable. Growing up and watching these guys work on TV and then actually getting the opportunity to work with them was a dream come true. Having my parents at my first game was special too. Especially with all the help and advice my father gave me. Being the first ever second-generation full time official in the NHL is something I'm also proud of.
Q: You recently worked the 2014 NHL Winter Classic game in the “Big House” in Ann Arbor, Michigan, between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. What impressed you the most in that experience?
A: What impressed me the most was the sheer size of this spectacle. To have worked a game in front of over 1000,000 people (a new Guinness book of records) was an amazing experience.
Q: Any funny story from the Winter Classic?
A: Due to the extremely cold temperatures, my whistle froze.  I discovered this when I went to blow down my first offside of the game.  Luckily Dan O'Hallaran had an extra whistle for me to use for the rest of the game.
I asked Pierre McGuire, an NBC commentator who was located between the benches, to hold my frozen whistle and try to thaw it out.  It wasn't until after the game, friends and family told me he had been calling me by the wrong name, another NHL linesman named Scott Cherrey, for the first two periods.
Q: Did you have to change or add any piece of equipment or clothing for this outdoor assignment?
A: We loaded ourselves up with Vaseline on our faces, neck and ears.  We wore gloves and had toe warmers in our skates.
Q: What were the biggest adaptations you had to make on the ice for this game compared to an indoor NHL game?
A: We did not have to change much of our routine on the ice. Visibility was a factor with the snow falling and the wind.
Q: Any advice for the young officials who would like to make the NHL one day?
A: Work as many games as you can to get noticed. You never know who's watching you in the stands. Your presence on the ice and how you carry yourself is very important. Your physical fitness and your skating ability is key as you move up in your levels. Take advantage of any officiating clinics in your area during the offseason.  Many of the instructors are current or former NHL officials.


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