COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The 2018 United States Hockey Hall of Fame induction class was announced on Thursday afternoon, and among the inductees is ECAC Hockey Director of Officiating, Paul Stewart.
The 2018 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration will take place at the JW Marriott Nashville in Nashville,Tennessee, on Wednesday,December 12, at 7 p.m. Tickets for the event will go on sale on Monday, August 13, at 10 a.m. ET at USHockeyHallofFame.com.
Stewart has served as Director of Officiating for ECAC Hockey since 2007, but his commitment to hockey, and more particularly hockey officiating began well before that. More commonly known as “Stewy” by his colleagues, the Massachusetts native began his time as an official after a professional playing career that spanned from 1975-83, highlighted by a season with the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques in 1979-80. To this day, he remains the only American to have both played and officiated in the NHL.
After transitioning into the striped uniform, Stewart went on to a distinguished officiating career, becoming the first American to referee more than1,000 NHL games when he surpassed that mark in 2003. He ended his on-ice career having officiated 1,010 NHL regular-season games, 49 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and a pair of NHL All Star games.
Outside of his work on the ice, Stewart has also played instrumental roles in a number of charitable organizations. After being diagnosed with colon cancer in 1998, he not only overcame the disease, but worked for the next nine years (1999-2008) as an ambassador for the NHL’s “Hockey Fights Cancer” campaign. In addition, he’s spent the past 20 years raising money for inner-city youth sports, serving as the director of the Bill Stewart foundation.
ECAC Hockey Commissioner Steve Hagwell was delighted at the news of his induction.
““I am absolutely thrilled for Paul and his family,” said Hagwell. “He certainly is deserving of such a great honor as to be immortalized in the sport in which he has devoted his life. From the moment I met Paul a little more than 11 years ago, his commitment, and love for the game have been constant positives that have driven him.”
A hard worker with an un-deniable love for the sport, Stewart was, in his own words, “rendered speechless by the news”. You can read his entire reaction to his induction HERE.
To view this release in PDF format, click HERE.