'Hockey version of Footloose': Are young referee's dance moves offside?
Seventeen-year-old hockey referee Dylan Regnier can bust a move and there’s video evidence to prove it.
Since being posted to Facebook on Sunday, thousands have watched Regnier break into dance at a minor league hockey game at the QCentre.
While most of the reaction online appears positive, Regnier’s mother says she’s upset by the reaction within the Vancouver Island officiating ranks.
According to Shanna Quigley, the officials who hire her son to referee hockey games have told her son they are disappointed and angry by Regnier’s dancing.
"I’m appalled at this reaction. He’s not doing anything wrong,” says Quigley.
The video, posted to Tianna Shaw’s Facebook page, shows the hockey referee shaking his hips and shoulders to music in the penalty box, pretending to pull-in the zamboni using an invisible rope, and at one point spinning in a circle similar to a figure skater. As the video plays, laughter can be heard in the background.
Dozens have shared the video including the City of Colwood which included the caption, “Try not to smile at these dancing refs at a hockey game here in Colwood. Wonderful to see people loving what they do and putting smiles on people's faces."
Shaw wrote an additional post once she found out the young ref may have gotten into trouble for dancing, saying she was appalled.
"This is actually something POSITIVE and happy. Are we in the hockey version of Footlose here?!" she wrote. "
In an email regarding the video forwarded to CTV News, Galen Brewer, the Referee-in-Chief of Juan De Fuca Minor Hockey wrote: "While I appreciate your enthusiasm to share this video with everyone, you need to know that I am not impressed by the actions of these officials."
The South Island Officiating Coordinator for BC Hockey, Yves Ouellet, also responded to the same email requesting the video not be shared further until the “incident” is dealt with.
CTV News has contacted Brewer and Ouellet for a comment.
Regnier admits he was dancing at times during the video but says it was during the warm-up and between periods and did not occur while the game was in progress.
He also says his officiating superiors have stressed the importance of professionalism in the past and says he’s concerned that he may not get to referee games in the future as a form of punishment.
But BC Hockey, the organization that oversees all referees in the province, says reaction to the video is being misinterpreted.
“We want to promote everyone having fun, whether you’re a player or an official,” says Sean Raphael, Hockey Canada’s BC Referee-in-Chief.
Raphael says professionalism is an area of emphasis for BC Hockey’s referees and any communication with Regnier from his superiors would have been made in the interests of helping the teenager improve as a referee.
According to Raphael, Regnier has been identified as an official with potential who could move up the officiating ranks in the future.
BC Hockey says there are no plans for Regnier to be disciplined.
Quigley say she supports her son’s dance moves.
“We think it’s wonderful to see him enjoy it so much, and the crowd gets a kick out of it, plus it puts everyone at ease,” she says.
She says her son’s goal is to eventually referee in the NHL.