THIS AFTERNOON IN DETROIT, NHL REFEREE DAN O’HALLORAN SET TO BECOME ONLY THE 7th REFEREE IN NHL HISTORY TO WORK 1,500th REGULAR SEASON GAMES.
This afternoon in Detroit Michigan, NHL referee Dan O’Halloran will be joining a very select group of referees when he will step on the ice at Little Caesars Arena to work the Boston Bruins against the Detroit Red Wings game. When dropping the opening face-off later today, the Essex, Ontario native will officially become only the 7th referee in NHL history to reach the 1,500th NHL Regular Season Game milestone. Fellow referee Wes McCauley and linesmen Steve Barton and Libor Suchanek will be completing the officiating crew for this special assignment.
Growing up, his father, Fred, was for several years the President and Convenor of the Essex, Ontario minor hockey program making the old Essex Arena his second home every winter. He started officiating at a young age but really started to be more serious about it after his Junior “C” playing days were over. He went on and worked countless local hockey games and junior games around his hometown during his officiating journey before reaching the now defunct International Hockey League (IHL) a few years later. At that time, several NHL teams had an affiliated team in the old International Hockey League which had O’Halloran working and being in contact with several officials under contract with the NHL. With NHL officiating supervisors/managers attending some of his games along the way, his officiating skills were recognized one summer when he was ask to report and participate at the next NHL Officials training camp. He went on and signed a minor league referee contract with the National Hockey League in the summer of 1992.
His NHL debut came on October 14th, 1995 in Pittsburgh when the Anaheim Ducks were in town to play the hometown Penguins. This was under the old one referee system and his teammates for this special occasion that night were linesmen Bob Hodges and Dan McCourt. O’Halloran handed out seven minor penalties that night in a game that featured players like Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis, Jaromir Jagr, Paul Kariya and Marcus Naslund just to name a few!
Four and a half years later, O’Halloran reached another milestone when he was selected to work for the first time the NHL Playoffs. He skated in his first post-season game on April 12th, 2000 in St.Louis, during a matchup between the San Jose Sharks and the Blues (Game #1). Almost twenty years later and now set to retire after this season, O’Halloran has now officiated an impressive 212 post-season games, including several deciding game seven.
O’Halloran also celebrated his 1,000th NHL Regular Season Game in Detroit back on April 7th, 2013. His resume as an official is quite impressive:
- 2003 NHL All-Star Game in Sunrise, FL.
- 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics (Gold Medal Game/Canada vs USA)
- 2014 Winter Classic in Ann Arbour, MI (Toronto Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red Wings)
- 2015 Stadium Series in Santa Clara, CA (Los Angeles Kings vs San Jose Sharks)
- 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, Canada
- 2019 Stadium Series in Philadelphia, PA (Pittsburgh Penguins vs Philadelphia Flyers)
- An impressive 10 Stanley Cup Finals (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017)
Respected well beyond his outstanding work and performance on the ice, O’Halloran has been serving as President of the NHL Officials Associations for almost a decade now, a position voted by the membership.
The NHLOA would like to congratulate referee Dan O’Halloran for this outstanding achievement. Well done “O”!