After 25 years of officiating hockey games, a pair of twin brothers from Red Deer have made their National Hockey League debut.
Chad and Cody Huseby served as linesmen when the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place on Friday, Dec. 23.
The Huseby brothers didn’t know they would be making their big-league debut until the morning of the game. The linesmen originally scheduled to call the game weren’t able to make it due to travel-related issues. Chad and Cody were asked if they could serve as linesmen at 8 a.m., which was about 12 hours before the game.
“It’s one of those days you’ll never forget. Looking back on it now, it was such a complete whirlwind of a day. It’s a pretty cool story and one you can’t even make up,” Cody Huseby said.
It was a great experience to officiate a game featuring “the best athletes in the world and the fastest skaters in the world,” Chad Huseby said.
“It was pretty amazing to be out there and see the level these guys can play at every night. But at the end of the day, we’re out there to do a job. You just try to do your best and block that out and treat it like any other game – call icings, call offsides,” he said.
The brothers first officiated games in their hometown of Rocky Mountain House when they were 13 years old. They made their American Hockey League debut earlier this year as well, when the Calgary Wranglers held its inaugural home opener against the Coachella Valley Firebirds at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“What started off as a part-time gig just to earn a bit of money so we can buy some stuff as the concession 25-plus years ago evolved into a NHL game, American Hockey League games, Memorial Cups and World Juniors. We’re very thankful for the opportunities we’ve been given through our officiating and for the people we’ve met along the way,” said Chad Huseby.
The brothers will return to officiating games in the AHL and WHL following the Christmas break.
“We’ll continue to work at those levels, but you never know what might happen down the road,” Chad Huseby said, adding he has never heard of twin brothers officiating the same game before in the NHL.
“I know there’s a set of brothers who are linesmen in the NHL right now and there have been other brothers before us. But as far as identical twin brothers, I think it’s safe to say this is probably a first,” he said.
Cody Huseby said this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of their family and friends.
“Like any player growing in Canada, you’re striving to get to the NHL. As officials it’s the same goal. That’s the highest level,” he said.
“Guys will always joke about their phones blowing up – I think Chad and I definitely experienced that. I don’t know if I’ve ever sent so many texts. … Chad and I definitely felt the love. Without the support of our wives and our families, we would have been done officiating a long time ago. It definitely means a lot.”