NHL Referee Bruce Hood Passes Away at 81

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Bruce Hood

NHL referee Bruce Hood has passed away at the age of 81 after a battle with cancer. Hood officiated 1,033 NHL regular season games and 157 playoff contests, three All-Star games and three Canada Cups over a 21-year career.

Hood was the last of the referees at the time of his retirement in 1984, to have officiated in all of the Orignal Six arenas. Hood was instrumental in the creation of the NHL Officials association in 1969. He was also the last of the NHL officials to wear the number one on his back. Hood was also the first professional to referee a World Championship game in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1985.

NHL Referee Bruce Hood Passes Away at 81

Notable Games

Hood officiated several notable games in his long career. He was the official for Game Four of the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals between the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues. In this game, Bobby Orr slotted home the winning goal past Blues goalie Glenn Hall with 40 seconds remaining. Moments later Orr was tripped by Blues defenseman Noel Picard. The resulting photo of Orr flying through the air remains one of hockey’s most iconic moments.

In what is thought of as his most notable game he was the official for the Good Friday Massacre. The April 1984 contest between the Montreal Canadians and the Quebec Nordiques featured an on-ice brawl. That brawl at the end of the second period lasted an hour.

His controversial decision to restart the game in the third period provoked another brawl as he assigned the penalties.

Life After Hockey

Hood was not idle after he retired from officiating. He wrote two books on officiating “Calling the Shots” in 1988 and “For the Good of the Game” in 1999. Hood for 18 years also ran a developmental camp for referees. His designs for officiating equipment are still in use or serve as the basis for modern designs.

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