Spengler Cup hosts top NHL referee

Lance Roberts, a top Canadian ice-hockey referee, is in Davos for the Spengler Cup.

A top Canadian ice-hockey referee is taking part in the Davos Spengler Cup.

This content was published on December 28, 2001 minutes

Lance Roberts brings a wealth of experience to the tournament, having refereed more than 550 National Hockey League (NHL) matches across North America.

"I didn't know how to fight or how to score, so I became a ref," he said.

Roberts, who retired from the NHL last summer to go into the real estate business, confessed that he couldn't stay away from ice hockey. He quickly seized an opportunity to referee matches in several European countries, including Switzerland.

During the month of December, Roberts refereed five first-division matches in Switzerland. He has already supervised two Spengler Cup matches, with Davos facing Prague and Mannheim.

However, some adapting was necessary, as Swiss hockey matches are followed by three referees, instead of four in the NHL.

"I received a warm welcome in Switzerland," Roberts said. "The quality of Swiss ice hockey is excellent, but I was particularly impressed by the good referees and training programmes."

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