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Chirping Zebras Podcast

February 8, 2024, 9:12 AM ET [2 Comments]
Paul Stewart
Blogger •Former NHL Referee • RSSArchiveCONTACT
I've been staying busy lately with several recent interviews. The other day, I posted my discussion with Chris Nilan on the Raw Knuckles podcast. I also spent an enjoyable 90 minutes on the Chirping Zebras podcast.

We talk about how friction is part of the game. I recount some of my favorite stories from my playing days and refereeing career. I talk about why I hate the expression "give us 110 percent" but why you're cheating the game if you give anything less than 100 percent. We recount the story of when coach Andre Savard punched me and I told him he might as well try another punch because I didn't feel the first one.

Later, we discuss the trend toward trying to turn former players into officials and why the experiment largely is not working: Candidates are force fed into higher leagues too soon for their development. There is a learning curve involved that can't be rushed. On the flip side, I understand WHY it happens: a lot more teams and a lot more games that need to be staffed.


A 2018 inductee into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Paul Stewart holds the distinction of being the first U.S.-born citizen to make it to the NHL as both a player and referee. On March 15, 2003, he became the first American-born referee to officiate in 1,000 NHL games.
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