Paul Stewart retired as an NHL official in 2003. (Ezra C. Shaw /Allsport)
Status: Former NHL forward for Quebec Nordiques in 1979-80. Also played for WHA's Cincinnati Stingers. Former NHL referee. Currently serves as men’s league supervisor of officials for ECAC hockey.
DOB: March 21, 1954 In: Boston
First Hockey Memory: "My first skate, the Friday after Thanksgiving in 1958 with my dad's high school team, wearing my sister's too-big white skates with toe picks. I fell 50 times holding onto the boards. By the time I got around once I knew what I wanted to do in my life...keep skating."
Hockey Inspirations: "My mom gave me a Stan Fischler Book Up From The Minors with stories on players who worked their way up, John Ferguson especially, which is why I wore No. 22."
Last Book Read: "The Pacific by Hugh Ambrose."
Nicknames: "‘Stew Cat.’ I got punched by Gilles Bilodeau in the WHA in Birmingham and didn't blink or flinch. Whitey Stapleton said I gave the guy a 'cat eye' and Hughie Harris started calling me ‘Stew Cat.’ The guys used to leave coffee creamers in my locker when I would have a fight or do well in a game. I had nine lives, down to about two now."
Hobbies/Leisure Activities: "My Christmas Tree Farm...started it when I was sick. I like touring museums for history interests."
Favorite Movies: "Casablanca 1943 - Humphrey Bogart and Twelve O'Clock High 1948 - Gregory Peck."
First Job: "Soda fountain at Brigham's Ice Cream in Jamaica Plain, Mass. In 1968 to pay for Cooney Weiland's Hockey School. $3.00 per hour...plus tips."
First Car: "Not my first, but the one I drove after my divorce when I went learning the trade, reffing in the ACHL in 1983 - a white 1972 AMC Gremlin, straight six with three speeds with a standard shift. A real chick magnet that looked like a big, white sneaker."
Current Car: "Mercury Mountaineer...tough on gas, but has balls, sucks gas. Wish I had the Gremlin back."
Greatest Sports Moment: "First NHL game as a Nordique vs. Boston, November 22, 1979. I had a 'Dorchester Hat Trick'...I fought O'Reilly, Jonathan and Secord, one-two-three. As a referee, Russia vs. Canada 6-5 double overtime in the 1987 Canada Cup. Some say the greatest game ever played."
Most Painful Moment: "The day John McCauley died in June, 1989. Too soon and so sad..."
Most Memorable Goal: "That I disallowed - Montreal at Boston, March 26, 1986. I replaced Dave Newell, who broke his ribs, and promptly disallowed what would have been the Bruins winning goal. The game ended at 2-2. Jean Peron did not get fired and the Canadiens got home-ice advantage that they used to win the Stanley Cup. The Bruins finished in third place. The veins on Harry Sinden and Butch Goring's neck were really red and really bulging."
Closest NHL Friends: "Officials - Pat Dapuzzo, Gerry Gauthier, Dave Newell, Wes McCauley, Brian Murphy. Players - Robbie Ftorek, Whitey Stapleton, Bill Gilligan and Jamie Hislop."
Funniest Players Encountered: "Phil Esposito. I threw a puck at him in Tampa when he was a GM. I knew him when we were both with the Rangers in 1976 and 1977 as players at training camp. Enrico Ciccone had shot a puck at my linesman and I dumped him with a game misconduct. ‘Espo’ was waiting for me in the runway in the ballpark rink, I threw a puck at him hard and just over his head. He hit the floor. I asked him how he liked it. We laugh about that one, good guy. He didn't fink to Toronto on me."
Toughest Competitors Encountered: "Playing against O'Reilly, Nystrom, Gillies, Goring, Smith and Trottier was a challenge. They were good and tough. Reffing - I loved watching Sakic, Kariya, Bourque, Scott Stevens, Roy, Brodeur and Fuhr."
Funny Hockey Memory: "In Cincy in the WHA during the warmup vs. Edmonton, Jacques Demers told me I wasn't dressing. I was pissed, so I went back on the ice to skate as there was still a minute left in the warm up. Sather was sitting on the bench making up his Edmonton lineup card. The Zamboni driver drove the Zamboni into the runway then got off with the doors open and the engine running. I skated off the ice, jumped on the Zamboni, backed out and made the ice for the first period. Sather jumped six feet when I drove by and beeped at him. Picture was on the front page of the Cincinnati paper the next day. Might as well be useful (laughs)."
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: "In 1980 I fought Gary Howatt in the Island. He tore my suspenders during the fight and my pants fell down to my knees on the way to the box."
Strangest Game: "In the AHL at Hershey, I called two penalty shots on one play by defenseman Kevin McCarthy. Kevin hooked the guy at the blueline - the kid, the puck and Kevin slid into the goalie - the puck was lying flat in the crease. McCarthy picked it up and threw it in a corner - two acts, two penalty shots. GM Frank Mather called me on the phone during the time I was at the box explaining it to the scorer. I explained it to Mr. Mather. I thought he was going to fall out of the press box. But I was right."
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "To watch, baseball. To play, golf. Fore!"
People Qualities Most Admired: "John McCauley had them all: He was a great leader who inspired pride in you and the group. The last thing you wanted to do was disappoint him. He had firm, but fair ways of communicating the message, he made you want to be better, he had compassion and was a teacher. I hope I do half as well with my people who work for me. John has not been replaced since he left us. Many have tried, but none have reached his mark. John spent time trying to assist his people to be better, not trying to figure out ways to amputate them. John McCauley should be in the Hall of Fame. He invented the offside tag-up rule. RIP my friend. I named my son after him...McCauley John Stewart."