March 03, 2013
Mickey Volcan: Calling The Lines
Missed part of 1982-83 season with broken hand. While he was out with the injury, Volcan actually served as a NHL linesman for Hartford's game vs. New Jersey on January 15th, 1983.
A snowstorm played havoc with travel plans for the teams, the fans and yes, the officials. Lineseman Ron Foyt was the only official to make it to the rink that night. But the game went on, with Foyt serving as the referee and one scratched player from each team, Volcan for Hartford and Garry Howatt for New Jersey, serving as linesmen. Because no uniforms were available, the two scratched players wore sweat suits.
The two players were able to hand over their whistles after 1 period. Dan Mourelli and Ron Fournier made it to the rink in time to start the second period.
Mickey Volcan was a once promising defenseman. The Edmonton-born Volcan was a junior star in St. Albert (where he played with Mark Messier and Troy Murray) before heading to the University of North Dakota in 1979. After a season at UND, the Hartford Whalers made Volcan the 50th overall pick in the 1980 NHL draft. He surprised almost everyone when he dropped out of school and made the NHL as the youngest player in the league in 1980-81.
Perhaps Volcan was rushed to the big leagues too soon. He had trouble sticking in the line-up and was up and down between the NHL and the minor leagues. Between the Whalers and Calgary Flames Volcan played in 166 games played. He scored 8 goals and 33 assists for 41 career points.
He extended his career by playing in Finland and Germany for the remainder of the 1980s.
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I saw that game when Volcan & Howatt were linesmen. It was on TV here in New York. As I remember it, they wore some kind of yellow windbreaker looking thing over their sweatclothes. Or maybe it was a reflective safety vest thing. What I remember was that it was yellow. I remember everyone hoping there would be a fight so we could see Howatt trying to break up a fight instead of being in one, but I'm petty sure there was no fight. I wonder if any video survives from that game.
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