Every month, the NHLOA will feature one of its officials in this Q&A series.
This month’s member is David Brisebois from Gueplh, ON who is entering his 16th year wearing jersey #96 as a NHL Linesman . David started his journey as a young amateur official in the Copper Cliff and Sudbury Minor Hockey Association. The man also known as "Breezer" by his colleagues recently participated in the Stadium Series matchup between the LA Kings and San Jose Sharks which was played at the new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. Wanna know how NHL Officials prepare for an outdoor game? Please read this month Q&A with Linesman, David Brisebois.
Q:How did you learn that you were getting hired by the NHL?
A:I received a phone call from Charlie Banfield saying that NHL would like to hire me to a 40/40 contract.
Q:How was your first NHL training camp?
A: My first training camp was a great experience. Obviously you are nervous being the new guy on the staff but the guys where great. They made me feel like one of them right from the beginning.
Q:Who was your roommate?
A: Gord Broseker
Q:What impressed you the most at this first training camp?
A: I think what impressed me most was how dedicated the guys where. From the fitness testing to the classroom sessions to the on ice sessions. Everyone was having fun but also working really hard. They where all professionals!
Q: How old were you when you first started officiating? Why did you start?
A: I was 13 when I started officiating. I was still playing hockey but my Dad thought it would be something I would like so suggested I try it.
Q:Who has helped you the most throughout your journey to the NHL staff?
A: I would have to say my Dad for getting me started in officiating. Also people like Doug Horner a longtime official with the OHL was always there to help me as I worked my way through minor hockey. Leon Stickle was a big help my first year of Professional Hockey. I should also mention Scott Driscoll who is also a linesman in the NHL and also a good friend. He has always been there for me.
Q:What is the most memorable game you have worked so far?
A: My first game on October 11, 1999 in Buffalo and my first playoff game on April 16, 2010
Q:Where are you born?
A: Sudbury, Ontario Canada
Q:How old are you?
Q:Which year did you get hired by the NHL?
Q:Did you play hockey, and if so, for how long, or until what age?
A: I played hockey growing up in Sudbury, Ontario. I played until I was 17 or 18.
Q:Did you ever got sustained an injury while officiating a hockey game?
A:I took a stick in the mouth off a face-off and was cut pretty bad. My lip and gums needed to be stitched up.
Q:What leagues did you work before joining the NHL staff?
A: I started officiating in the Copper Cliff Minor Hockey Association and Sudbury Minor Hockey Association. I also worked in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League. Then moving onto the Ontario Hockey League then the Western Professional Hockey League. Next was the American Hockey League followed by the National Hockey League.
Q:Any advice for the young officials who would like to make the NHL team one day?
A: My advice to a young official would be to continue playing the game as long as you can while also officiating. Officiate as many games as possible, no matter what the level because you will learn something from every game that you do. Work your hardest in every game you officiate because you never know who is watching you work that game.
Q:Describe a typical game day in the NHL.
A: We either arrive at the city the night before or the morning of the game. If flying in the morning of the game it is usually a pretty early morning having to get to the airport to catch a flight. If already in the city I will get up a go for breakfast and then head down to the gym for a workout. All four officials will meet up for lunch and talk about the game that night. We will usually head back to our hotel rooms to relax or have an afternoon nap. We will leave for the game so we arrive about an hour and a half before game time. We do the game then head back to the hotel. The next morning is usually another early morning so we can do it all again in another city.
Q:You have participated in this year Stadium Series game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. Were there anything different from a regular season game, did you have to alter your equipment?
A: Obviously,the biggest difference will be that it is outside in a football stadium. Another big difference will be the size of the crowd. Most NHL rinks hold about 20 000 people where Levi Stadium holds 70 000. As for our equipment with the game being in California it wasn’t cold we didn’t had to alter our equipment.