Mike Cvik's 1500th

Friday, October 15, 2010

Saturday night, October 16, Mike Cvik will step on the ice for his 1500th regular-season NHL game. That is on top of the 89 playoff games he has been assigned to since he was hired in 1987.

Mike was born in Calgary, Alberta, at a slightly shorter height than what he shows now. And you don’t have to wonder why he is so tall [6’9”]. The man can eat. I can’t imagine how many extra hours his dad and mom had to put in just to earn enough money to buy food to feed their “baby”.

Mike is a big man but like most guys of his size, he is also one of the most easygoing persons you will ever meet. Whoever came up with the expression “gentle giant” probably had someone like him in mind.

Having worked his way up the officiating ranks in Western Canada, Mike made it to the Western Hockey League where he was selected to work the 1986 Memorial Cup in Portland, Oregon.

A year later he got the call every official hopes for. The late John McCauley was interested in adding Mike to the NHL staff and this year Mike is entering his 24th NHL season. Like they say, time flies when you’re having fun. And it was a fun time for him.

How much fun? Well, here are just a few of Mike’s career highlights:

He worked his first NHL game on October 8th when the St. Louis Blues visited the Vancouver Canucks at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. Three years later, he worked his first playoff game in the old Boston Garden where the Bruins played the Hartford Whalers.

He got a first sip of the Olympics when he worked the pre-Olympic tournament in Calgary. He then went for the whole thing 14 years later when not only was he selected to be part of the Officiating Staff at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics but he was also assigned to the Gold Medal game where Canada faced-off against USA.

And who has not seen Wayne Gretzky jumping all over the place after passing the great Gordie Howe for most career goals. Mike had a pretty good look at the whole thing because he was on the ice when that historical moment in hockey took place. Pretty cool, no?

On the ice Saturday to join him for this memorable moment will be Bill McCreary, Wes McCauley [John’s son] and Brad Lazarowich. Of course not far from the ice, his wife Linda, his daughters and many friends will join in the celebration of this great achievement.

The NHLOA and its Members would like to congratulate Mike on reaching this significant milestone for an Official and wish him, his family and friends a fun and great night.