John D'Amico

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For the Gambino crime family mobster, see Jackie D'Amico. For the Illinois state politician, see John C. D'Amico.

John David D'Amico (September 21, 1937 - May 29, 2005) was a National Hockey League (NHL) linesman and later supervisor of officials.

A native of Toronto, D'Amico's NHL career started as a referee on October 12, 1964, when he was 27 years old. He refereed only 19 games before becoming a linesman.

At the time of his retirement after the 1987 season, D'Amico was the last on-ice official active during the Original Six era. D'Amico's career included 1,769 regular season games, four All-Star games, including the 1979 Challenge Cup and Rendez-vous '87, and 247 Stanley Cup playoff games, including 20 Stanley Cup Finals. His last one was in 1987. He also worked the Canada Cup. In 1988, D'Amico was watching a Leafs game on TV at home when a linesman had to leave a game because of an injury. Not missing a beat, D'Amico grabbed his skates, drove to Maple Leaf Gardens and finished the game. This would become his last on-ice performance as an NHL linesman.

After retirement, he became a supervisor of officials for the NHL, a position he held until his death at age 67 after a long battle with leukemia and bone cancer.

D'Amico was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.

His health problems started in September 2002 when he suffered a heart attack and underwent bypass surgery. Tests following surgery indicated blood abnormalities and a diagnosis of aplastic anemia, which resulted in gallstone problems.

Just before his death, D'Amico made news headlines across Canada when he spoke out about the poor quality of the country's health care system.

D'Amico is survived by wife Dorothy, sons Angelo, Jeff and Anthony, and daughter Tina. Like his father, Angelo is an NHL linesman.

He was renowned during his career for his immense physical strength. This was especially evident when he was required to break up fights on the ice.

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