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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

Kendrick Nicholson To Italy

By Fred Wallace

Truthfully, I spend waaay too much time on air critiquing the performance of hockey officials.

I'm embarrassed by that on a number of levels, and I always pledge that I'm not going to do it, I won't go down that path, no matter what happens, I'll leave the refs and linesmen to do their jobs to the very best of their ability and just call the game to the best of my ability.

I'm sure if the hockey officials critiqued my work, they'd find flaws without much effort.

Mostly, I feel bad about this because the refs and the linemen in the OHL and elsewhere are pretty good people.

Take Kendrick Nicholson of Sauble Beach.

Tomorrow, Nicholson departs for Italy where he will be the lone Canadian official at the World " B " Under 18 Hockey tournament.

This is a significant tournament for the participants because the winners will advance to the " A " flight next time around.

And make no mistake, it's a significant event for Kendrick Nicholson who was appointed by Hockey Canada for the gig.

If his work is of high standing, then he too gets in line to do bigger and bigger games.

Plus, Nicholson is also facing a fork in the professional road.

Currently employed at Coca Cola Bottling in Owen Sound, the decision ahead is whether to remain doing lines and hold down two jobs, make a concerted bid to become a professional linesmen above and beyond the OHL, or change gears altogether and concentrate heavier on being a referee.

That's a lot of long term future to consider for Kendrick Nicholson, but in the short term, it's off to Italy tomorrow for the World " B " Under 18 Championship, followed by some tourista activities and then he can back to the career decisions ahead.

I'm Fred Wallace

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