Ref Report Erroneous
by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor
ECACHL commissioner Steve Hagwell categorically denied a recent report that claimed Scott Brand and the USA Hockey Junior Officiating Development Program would be taking charge of ECAC referees, and perhaps even Hockey East.
The report, originating at HockeyRefs.com and perpetuated elsewhere, was based upon speculation, according to numerous parties involved, and has no basis in fact.
Hockey East has an opening since the resignation of Brendan Sheehy, while the ECAC opening occurred when Butch Bellemore submitted his resignation just after the ECAC Tournament.
According to people close to USA Hockey, it's possible that the JODP and its coordinator, Scott Brand, could be looking into working more closely with college leagues, but that no such arrangement is imminent, and if it did ever happen, it would not mean the wholesale use of USA Hockey officials.
Hagwell said the ECAC has never worked with Brand, and he has never had contact with him, nor is he an applicant for the vacant position. Hagwell said league officials would be discussing the vacancy and begin reviewing candidates at the Hockey Coaches Association convention, which is taking place this week in Naples, Fla.
College hockey leagues have generally worked with the National Ice Hockey Officials Association in the past, and not USA Hockey. However, college leagues often utilize officials who also referee junior games, which fall under USA Hockey jurisdiction.