Terry Gregson

Terry Gregson

Portrait by Robert Howson

From an early age, Terry Gregson knew he had a future on ice. He remembers the years of officiating those early Saturday morning house minor hockey games.

When the Can-Am hockey school came to Guelph, he took the opportunity to take power skating lessons before ultimately becoming an instructor. His hard work was rewarded by an invitation to a National Hockey League official’s camp which led to Gregson signing to work in the Western Hockey League.

Starting in 1979 and then for the next 25 years, he officiated 1,427 National Hockey League regular season games, including 158 playoff games and eight Stanley Cup finals. A few games were bound to stand out. Gregson refereed in the 1982 World Hockey Championship.

But it was an NHL All-star game in Chicago in 1991 that sticks in his mind. It was just after a serious battle overseas in which many Americans died. “I have never felt the emotion and patriotism of the anthem that created such emotions” he said. In retirement, he became an executive with the NHL Officials Association. Gregson said watching the game from the ice gives you more respect for just how hard it is to be part of the game.

His 11 years as an executive with the Referees Association made him an ideal recruiter and planner. “A referee gets a different perspective of the game. The speed and the skill level are difficult to describe” he said. “Being an official is a commitment. Still, it is a great life.”

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Officials category – on May 14, 2008