Hall of Fame referee Storey dies at 88

3/15/2006 - NHL

MONTREAL -- Red Storey, who refereed seven straight Stanley Cup finals during the 1950s and was later elected to hockey's Hall of Fame, died Wednesday. He was 88.

Storey, who also played on two Grey Cup winners for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, had been in a Montreal nursing home since December.

He officiated all the Stanley Cup finals between 1952 and 1958 but abruptly resigned in 1959 after NHL president Clarence Campbell said Storey "choked" while calling a game in Chicago.

Stung by the criticism, Storey never worked for the league again, despite fielding calls from people around the NHL asking him to return.

Storey was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1967.

"Red Storey brought passion, dedication and enthusiasm to each and every game as an NHL referee," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Long after his retirement as an on-ice official, he continued to serve as one of the truly great ambassadors for the game in his travels around North America officiating charitable games.

"On behalf of the NHL family, we extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Bunny, and sons Bob and Doug," he said.

Born in Barrie, Ont., Roy Alvin Storey grew up playing including hockey, lacrosse, baseball and football. Football was his first love and he turned professional at the age of 18, signing with the Argonauts. He won Grey Cups with the Argos in 1937 and 1938.

In one 1938 game, Storey came off the bench in the fourth quarter and rushed for three touchdowns and 102 yards in a comeback win over Winnipeg. Storey was scouted by the Chicago Bears and New York Giants, but his football career ended when he suffered a serious knee injury in 1941.

He was hired by the NHL in 1950.

After his resignation, Storey did radio and TV commentary and participated in old-timers' games across North America. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1991 and inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.