London ref picked for Series

JIM CRESSMAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:38 PM ET

Sean Reid of London says he needs to brush up on his Russian.

He'll have plenty of time tonight during his flight en route to Moscow.

Reid will referee the first half of the eight-game Canada-Russia Super Series, organized by Hockey Canada to commemorate the first Summit Series in 1972.

"I really can't speak any Russian -- I'll just drink vodka and then I'll be brave and try it," said the 28-year-old, who will be representing Hockey Canada at his fourth international.

Reid, who also works in the OHL, and Marc Muylaert of Montreal, a Quebec major junior referee, were selected by Hockey Canada for the four games in Russia. Reid worked the Memorial Cup final in Vancouver in May.

His internationals were the senior men's B pool in Seoul, the under-20 B pool in Latvia and under-18 B pool in Mexico City. It's a credit that even though Canada doesn't have teams in those events, this country is still asked to send officials.

"Sean has continued to work on all aspects of his game, allowing him to be recognized and rewarded with these prestigious assignments from a group of approximately 80 Level VI officials registered within Hockey Canada," said Todd Anderson, Hockey Canada officiating manager.

Reid hopes this trip might be a springboard to a world junior assignment.

"I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but the thing I'm excited about is although I've worked three B pools, this is my first high-level IIHF experience. Hopefully it leads to a higher assignment. But even if it doesn't, this will still be an experience."

Reid got a taste of the Canada-Russia junior rivalry last season, working a game in the annual Canadian Hockey League Challenge.

Although he's climbed the Hockey Canada ladder quickly, he recently got some disappointing news: He's not on the NHL's radar.

It was a phone call from Terry Gregson, a retired NHL ref now in the league's officiating department.

"He said he was calling to tell me they didn't want me to hold on to any hope," said Reid, who also works in the East Coast and United leagues. "Even though it was disappointing, I appreciated the call. Now you just try to change your goals, such as working in a world junior or world men's championship and to become more involved in Hockey Canada."

Although Reid had the NHL dream, he was smart enough to have an alternate career path and 11 months ago joined the Investors Group.

"I sort of had the feeling the NHL wasn't interested any more. At least this way you know where you stand and you can just go out and referee as a hobby, which will work well with my career. It just puts a different perspective on officiating."

Like the chance to see it from a Russian perspective.


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