Born in Toronto and raised in Guelph, Ontario, Asselstine's NHL officiating career started in 1979 after a long career with the WHA and ended in 1998. During his career (in which he wore a helmet from the mid-1980s until his retirement), he officiated 1,446 regular season games and three All-Star games. From the 1994-95 NHL season until his retirement, he wore uniform number 38. An imposing man, Asselstine's nickname on the ice was "Bear". This nickname was given to him for his no-nonsense attitude in policing fights, and his 6-foot-2, 225 lb body.
On January 28, 1989, at the Boston Garden, when a fan came onto the ice during a game, Asselstine charged him from behind near the goal line, sending the fan sailing into the end boards (a distance of some 12 feet). The fan was then taken into custody.
Asselstine was honoured in 2007 with the Caring Canadian Award for his work as founder of the Guelph Wish Fund for Children (begun in 1984). His award was presented by Governor General Michaëlle Jean.
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