LaSalle Native And Long Time NHL Referee Honoured

A long time NHL referee now has a spot on LaSalle's Sports Wall of Fame.

Mark Pare is from LaSalle and spent 31 years in the league officiating nearly 2,200 games including two All-Star games.

Pare says it's surreal seeing his name and photo on the wall.

"It hasn't really set in. Officials don't expect to get honoured like this. So it's a pleasant surprise for sure. Over the course of time, your goal as an official is to get in and get out and nobody remember you were there. So I did that a lot."

He says he had an exciting career.

"There were some thrills. Certainly you get to see a lot of great hockey up close. Sometimes it's hard to watch on TV because I was spoiled with the best seat in the house for so long. So I tell people I never really had a real job. The job part of it was travelling. The games were fun."

AM800-LASALLE-SPORTS-WALL

LaSalle native Mark Pare is honoured for his time as an NHL referee (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)

Pare adds the game has changed a lot over the years.

"We never had video review until maybe the last ten years of my career and now it's even in the OHL. The scrutiny is way more. You have to have thick skin to be an official and it seems now you have to forget about the last call you made and work on the next one."

Pare was honoured during a ceremonial puck drop at Wednesday night's LaSalle Vipers game.

He is the fifth name on LaSalle's Sports Wall of Fame which is located at the Vollmer Centre.

Pare retired from the NHL in 2010.