Mel McPhee loved to show his stripes. As a hockey official, Mel patrolled the ice for over 30 years keeping watch over everyone from youngsters accidently knocking each other over in search of the puck, to junior players in the Ontario Hockey Association.
Mel was a long time member of the Guelph Hockey Referees Association (GHRA) that spawned many of hockey’s best officials. He was awarded the Doug Brill memorial trophy for his dedication to the referees association in Guelph and later served as the GHRA President from 1970-1972.
“I especially loved working with the young kids” said McPhee, the uncle of long-time Washington Capitals general manager and Guelph Hall of Famer George McPhee. “I refereed and coached at all levels but working with the Paperweight (or youngest) division was always so much fun. Men like Glad Mowatt, Earl Brimblecomb and Bill Lindley were important mentors to me when I was young so I was very happy to give back when I got a little older.”
Linesman Ray Scapinello, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008, credits McPhee as the reason he became an NHL linesman.
Mel was also a very good athlete playing junior B hockey for the Guelph Biltmore Madhatters (and even played a few games with the Junior A squad). He also knew his way around a ball diamond playing Junior and Senior Intercounty baseball. The talented catcher then played for the Guelph Ingrams fastball team for over a decade before staying on to coach and manage in the sport.
McPhee has left his mark on minor sports in Guelph through his officiating, coaching and volunteering with the Guelph Minor Hockey Association and the GRHA.
For all he received from others, he has given back many times over.
Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Official category – on October 30, 2012