Welcome to the Colorado Ice Hockey Referee Association's (CIHRA) website. CIHRA is a local association of approximately 500 USA Hockey certified officials and is based in Denver, Colorado. CIHRA is responsible for the administration of youth, adult, and college club officiating assignments in the following cities:
Denver Metro – Vail/Eagle – Grand Junction – Crested Butte – Gunnison
Durango – Telluride – Alamosa – Fort Collins – Greeley
CIHRA is administered by an elected Board of Directors, appointed League/Association Schedulers and several membership-based operating committees. The public portions of this website provide a comprehensive overview of CIHRA's operations. CIHRA members may log in for access to additional information and resources. Please feel free to contact CIHRAanytime should you have any questions about CIHRA or Ice Hockey Officiating.
Colorado Grown Official John Grandt Makes NHL Debut at Avalanche Game
January 21, 2012
Photo's courtesy of Dave Topping
Johnny Grandt’s first game as a linesman for the NHL was at the Colorado Avalanche’s home opener against the 2012 Stanley Cup winning Los Angeles Kings. How was your first NHL game?
"My first game in the NHL was a night I will never forget. The NHL was gracious enough to schedule me in Colorado so nearly my entire family was able to attend. There was definitely an adjustment period, but after I was used to the speed, it was just like the thousands of games I had officiated before it."
"Landeskog went out of his way to say congratulations to me. It was very unexpected and a moment I will remember in particular from that night."
John’s hockey timeline goes like this: In 1991 he started playing hockey for Hyland Hills Hockey Association and continued playing there through midget hockey. In 2004 he began officiating Men’s League hockey in the Denver area.
In 2006 he became a USA Hockey Level 1 official, and worked amateur games in the Denver area. He also worked a small number of college club games as a linesman. In 2007 he moved to Minnesota and worked for the USA Hockey
Junior Officiating Development Program. John worked games in the NAHL and USHL. 2008 brought a move to Des Moines and he worked in the USHL, IHL and SPHL. In 2009 his path lead him to Amarillo, Texas, working as a linesman for the Central Hockey League. John worked games 1 and 2 of the President’s Cup Finals. Staying in Texas, he started to work in San Antonio in 2010 for the CHL. He worked games 1, 2, 6 and 7 of the President’s Cup Finals, the CHL All-Star Game in Rapid City, SD, and approximately 15 games in the American Hockey League. In 2011 John headed to Dallas for the CHL and AHL. He worked game 1 of the President’s Cup Finals (CHL) and games 1 and 2 of the Calder Cup Finals (AHL). 2012 was his first step to the NHL as a Minor League Linesman. He has worked approximately 40 games in the AHL so far this season, and 4 NHL games to date; he has a total of 11 NHL games scheduled.
Pointers for a new referee just starting out? "Rule knowledge is one of the most important pieces of officiating. You can lose all credibility if you don't know the rules. All it takes is a little bit of time to read the rulebook and understand the intent behind each rule. This, combined with an overall understanding of the game, can take you a long way."
What are some of the qualities that helped you get work for the NHL? "There are many important qualities that make up all NHL Officials. This extends beyond the basics of rule knowledge and skating ability. As a linesman, one of the most important parts of my job is awareness. I need to know what is going on around me at all times, both during play and during stoppages. In addition, having the ability to effectively communicate with players during confrontations and altercations, to limit the number of penalties that have to be called, becomes a crucial part of the game at the NHL level."
What do you enjoy most about Officiating? "Having the ability to officiate games between some of the best players in the world never gets old. There are moments during a game where I am amazed at the talent some of the players in the NHL have. Beyond that, I love being able to stay involved in the sport that I started playing when I was only six years old. Without officiating, I would have moved on from hockey a long time ago."
Who are some of the people and officials that helped you along your officiating career? "The list of favorite officials is a long one, but I have to start with the local members of CIHRA that got me started. Craig Graham was the first guy that suggested I register with USA Hockey, and I cannot even begin to thank him enough for that. After that, there are officials like Butch Mousseaux, Shayne Cumine, and Kevin McMonagle that believed in me enough my first season to push me and put me on the ice for games that most officials with the limited experience that I had would not have been scheduled for. At the pro level, there are a handful of officials that I have modeled my officiating style after. All you have to do is look at the linesmen that have worked the Stanley Cup Finals the past few years to know who I am talking about. Finally, my boss at the Central Hockey League, Wayne Bonney, and a supervisor with the CHL, Ray Scapinello, both longtime NHL Linesmen, were great for my development in the early stages of my professional career."
Look for Johnny in every NHL game you see. His number is 98.
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