Collins Contributions Extend Well Beyond NHL Ice

It's been 43 years since Bill Chadwick became the first American official to be enshrined in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. In an honor that is being applauded throughout the hockey world, Springfield, Mass., native Kevin Collins will join "The Big Whistle" when he is enshrined as part of the Class of 2017.

Joining Collins will be fellow Bay Staters Ben Smith, Jack Parker and Scott Young. Ron Wilson, the all-time winningest American NHL coach, rounds out the class.

"I'm proud to be a part of such an elite group," Collins said. "I'm especially proud to join fellow NHL referee Bill Chadwick. He was a true pioneer in officiating, introducing the hand signals that all referees in the world use today. I'm honored to be in [the Hall] with him."

Known for his integrity, athleticism and strong skating ability, Collins' NHL career spanned more than 2,000 regular season games over the course of 28 years. He worked 296 playoff games, including 12 appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals. He also worked four Canada Cup tournaments, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.

Beyond his work as an on-ice official, Collins was a pioneer in the development of officiating as a whole. He has volunteered countless hours to amateur hockey in Massachusetts, serving as a youth hockey coach and director while also coordinating free officiating workshops throughout New England.

In 1974, he founded the Western New England School of Officiating, which provided the foundation for hundreds of budding officials. 

On the national stage, Collins helped USA Hockey create its Officiating Summer Development Camp program and its officiating manual series, both of which still serve as core components of USA Hockey's Officiating Development Program. Collins also taught at numerous USA Hockey officiating camps and seminars. 

"Kevin Collins has exemplified everything that the Hockey Hall of Fame is looking for," said Matt Leaf, director of USA Hockey's Officiating Education Program. "His contributions have made every aspect of the game better at the local and national levels as a result of his involvement with officiating on and off the ice."




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