When he steps on to the ice Friday night to call the lines in a game between Toronto and the hometown Buffalo Sabres, he'll be back where his career as a linesman started, 33 years and 2,499 games ago.
The veteran official is retiring after his 2,500th regular-season game. Scapinello's career also includes 406 Stanley Cup Playoff games, 19 Stanley Cup Finals, three NHL All-Star Games and the 1998 Olympic hockey tournament in Nagano.
Before the season started, Scapinello checked the schedule to see whether it would be possible to do his late game in Toronto. When he saw that the Maple Leafs were away the last week of the schedule, he checked the Sabres grid saw that he had a chance to end his career where it first started on Oct. 17, 1971 when the Minnesota North Stars played the Sabres.
Ray was a class act and a helluva linesman. I'll miss watching him buzz around out there. Randy Mitton was good too. Terry Gregson I don't have as many fond memories of but that's the nature of his job. I appreciate it though. Since they are all avid readers here---Thanks and Best of luck to all three.
Did any of you guys see the Leafs/SAbres game on TSN? Because, in the 1st intermission the TSN interview fella pulled Scampinella aside for a few questions and Scampy says, "Hey! Where's my Hockey Night in Canada towel?" hahahah. The TSN guy didn't know what to say he was so embarassed and mumbled something like, "uh, that might..uh...come on another night..." Scampanella then looked at the camera and saw the TSN logo, realised his mistake and said, "....oh.."