As a player, he’s been whistled for infractions all the way through midget AAA, while as a referee and as a linesman, he’s done the whistling.
And it’s been an eye-opener.
“Refereeing gave me the chance to see the game from a different perspective. (As a player) it definitely gave me a better idea of what I could get away with. I knew the rules and could help my coaches and teammates better,” said MacAdam. “(As a ref), I definitely watch the stuff behind the play, the chintzy stuff they would try and get away with. And I could talk to the players, know who crossed the line and who needed to sit for two minutes.”
This week, MacAdam’s at the NHL referee combine in Buffalo, N.Y., which runs until Sunday.
The Morell native will receive three to four classroom sessions, gets on-ice training and drills and officiate real hockey games.
He applied for a spot at the camp, which approved of his referring and linesmen experience in midget AAA and junior B hockey, and got the OK in May. It’s sort of a culmination of his work since he started refereeing minor games as a 12-year-old.
“It was a way to make a little extra money and get on the ice some more,” he said of the initial idea.
Now 20-years-old, MacAdam doesn’t play the game anymore, but his sights are still set on making the NHL as a zebra and the combine is good start to see what he needs to do to reach that level.
“I’d be lying if I said no. That’s the dream for sure. (It will show) what I need to do, not just get to the next level, but the top level. And I’d like to help younger refs become betters refs, pass that knowledge on.”
MacAdam is hoping to work at the junior A level as a linesman this season and ref at the midget AAA level.