No referee in hockey is more well-known than Wes McCauley. And it just so happens that nobody is more well-liked. We guess there’s a connection there.
Wes McCauley has made himself known as a referee who loves to make dramatic calls, and the fans love him back for it. But McCauley isn’t just an entertainer. Players and coaches also love him for his officiating, and nobody in the league does it better than him. And you can tell by looking at his resume.
McCauley was forced to retire from his playing career due to an injury in 1997. Six years later, he refereed his first NHL regular season game, and two years later, in 2005, he became a full-time NHL referee. Since 2013, he’s only missed out on refereeing in two Stanley Cup finals. In 2019 it was due to injury, and in 2021 due to a positive Covid-19 test. It’s safe to say that if there’s a great hockey game to be played, Wes McCauley will most likely referee it.
It sure helps McCauley that he can be kind of a jokester. His dramatic calls are hilarious to watch, and he’s got a special connection with many of the star players in the league. They respect him, and he respects them–which leads to some very amusing moments.
And there’s no greater example than during the 2018 All-Star Game. Wes McCauley was in the form of his life, and he took advantage of being mic’d up, giving everyone exactly what they wanted. During the game, he made a classic dramatic call after a review, screaming out, ”NO GOAL!” Which made players dying with laughter on the bench.
McCauley also had legendary conversations with some of the league’s best players during the game. The game was played in Tampa, and during a face-off, McCauley begged Steven Stamkos, captain of the Lightning, not to hook anyone because he didn’t want to get booed.
However, he also shared an iconic conversation with Brad Marchand. Marchand has a reputation for being the ultimate rat, and fans love when he’s sent to the penalty box. When talking to Marchand, McCauley said: ”I might just call a penalty on you, and I’ll get the loudest cheer ever.”
The chirp even made Brad Marchand laugh out loud, and if you get the ultimate rat to laugh at you, well, you’ve done something right. Wes McCauley–what a legend!