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Andy Van Hellemond

Born:Feb. 16, 1948
Hometown:Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN
Known For:NHL referee

Andy Van Hellemond (born February 16, 1948) is a former NHL referee and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame since 1999.

His NHL officiating career began in 1969 and included 19 Stanley Cup Finals. In 1984, he became the first NHL on-ice official to wear a helmet; four years later, the NHL later made helmets mandatory for all on-ice officials (however, any official who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the ruling could continue to go helmetless if they so desired). Subsequently, several officials followed his lead, and beginning with the 2006–07 NHL season, all NHL on-ice officials were compelled to wear helmets. He also officiated 1,557 regular season games and 227 playoff games. Van Hellemond has been the NHL’s #1 referee 14 consecutive times. He also officiated in two All-Star games, the 1979 Challenge Cup, and Rendez-vous ’87.

From the 1994–95 NHL season until his retirement in 1997, Van Hellemond wore uniform number 25, which is now worn by Marc Joannette. From the 1977–78 to 1993–94 seasons, NHL officials’ jerseys displayed their last names on the back. Due to its length, Van Hellemond’s name was displayed in two lines.

After retiring, Van Hellemond went to the ECHL, where he held a management position there until being hired by the NHL in 2000 to replace Bryan Lewis as Director of Officiating. Van Hellemond remained director of officiating until July 2004 when he resigned due to pressure from Colin Campbell over gambling issues.

On September 3, 2010, Van Hellemond declared he would run for Ward Two City Councillor during the October 25, 2010, Guelph municipal election in the city of Guelph, Ontario. On October 25, 2010, Van Hellemond was elected to Ward Two, winning with 29.86% of the vote over both incumbents.

On July 1, 2011, it was reported Van Hellemond served the creators of the comic strip Adam@home with a notice of intention to sue for libel over a comic which used the word “evil” in referring to Van Hellemond as “the worst and most evil ref ever.” Newspapers carrying the strip on May 28, 2011, were also served, such as the Toronto Star and The Boston Globe.

In 2014, Van Hellemond was elected for a second term as City Councillor for Ward 2, in the Guelph municipal election. Van Hellemond was not a candidate for City Council in the 2018 Elections.

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