The NHLOA is saddened by the passing of a great man, Mr. Jim Gregory.
Mr. Gregory was beloved by our group and by the entire hockey family and he will be dearly missed.
Referee Wes McCauley shares a few words on Mr. Gregory below:
Words can’t convey the tremendous impact Mr. Gregory had on the lives of members of my family. I met Mr. Gregory back when I was a teenager around the age of 13. I was in Grade 8 and really wanted to go to St. Michael’s College School in Toronto. Living in Georgetown, I knew it was going to be close to impossible to get in. As the year went on and their calendar flipped to the New Year, I knew the acceptance letters were due to arrive. I checked the mail every day and felt disappointment for what seemed like days on end. I started to think that I must not have gotten accepted because I should have received a letter. Finally, one day I come home to an envelope with a St. Mike’s logo on it. I opened it up and to my surprise, I was accepted.
The following year I was enrolled at St. Mike’s and one day my classmates and I got on the topic of when each of us received our acceptance letters. Well, I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I received mine a few weeks later then pretty much everyone else in my class.
I relay this story because a few years ago at training camp, Mr. Gregory and I were talking about my dad and the topic of St. Mike’s came up. Mr. Gregory let it slip that he was the reason I got into St. Mike’s. My dad and Mr. Gregory used to travel quite a bit together back in the 80’s, and I guess my dad mentioned how much I wanted to attend St. Mike’s and how I had not heard anything from the school about an acceptance. Knowing Mr. Gregory, he probably went back to his office and called over to St. Mike’s to inquire about my standing there. I’m sure he let the Admissions Office know that it would probably be a good idea to accept me.
That was Mr. Gregory to a tee. He was always looking out for everyone else and would do anything he could to help. I was fortunate to spend many car rides with my dad and Mr. Gregory traveling to games. What a life. I would sit in the back seat and listen to them talk hockey, players, officiating, and family.
Two things still stick with me about Mr. Gregory. First, when we arrived at the rink, Mr. Gregory would give me a few players to watch on both teams that night, and he would ask me questions on the way home. Second, Mr. Gregory always drove because he had an Audi. My dad loved that car. I can still hear him tell my mom “ Irene, you should see Jim’s car, it’s an Audi. . . .”
Mr. Gregory made an impact not only on the game of hockey, but more importantly, on everyone he came in contact with. He was the officials’ biggest cheerleader, and I know I can speak for all current and former NHLOA members when I say this he will be dearly missed; hockey season truly started for all of us when Mr. Gregory stood up at the front of the room and welcomed us to training camp.
On a personal note, my dad will be upstairs with the door opened in the Audi to take Mr. Gregory to a game. The hockey community is a lot poorer today with the passing of Mr. Jim Gregory--as fine a gentlemen as you will ever meet.
Our Deepest Sympathy,
Wes McCauley and Family
All of us in the NHLOA echo Wes' sentiments and pass on our deepest condolances to Jim's family.