Monday, October 26, 2009

Passing: Bill Chadwick, Iconic NHL Ref & Broadcaster

From The Associated Press thru The New York Times:

CUTCHOGUE, N.Y. (AP) -- Bill ''The Big Whistle'' Chadwick, the first U.S.-born official in NHL history who was later a popular broadcaster for the New York Rangers, died Saturday (October 24). He was 94.

For 16 seasons, from 1939 to 1955, and despite being blind in one eye, Chadwick was one of the best officials the NHL. He invented and perfected the system of hand signals to signify penalties, and the system is now used throughout the world.

In 1965, at the urging of Emile Francis, the Rangers' longtime general manager and coach, Chadwick embarked on a 14-year broadcasting career (where he became known as "The Big Whistle"), working first on radio with play by play man Marv Albert, and most notably, on television with Jim Gordon for nine seasons.

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