Sun. May 28th, 2023


Michael Dinn was a hockey fanatic who spent much of his spare time refereeing.

He was a Level 6 official who grew up as an officiant in the Goulds Minor Hockey Association, and then the Metro Referee’s Association. He also spent some time in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He was president of the MRA between 2006 and 2010, when he died from colon cancer.

Dinn has been honored with a special award given each year by the QMJHL in Dinn’s honor to the official that is the most dedicated to MRA and their minor associations.

His friends wanted more.

Stephen Orr said, “We realized that as Michael’s Metro friends we were getting older and we had to act.”

Orr, Dinn and the rest Mike’s Crew will be hosting the inaugural Mike’s Crew Hockey Tournament on Sunday May 7 at the Goulds Arena.

Mike’s Crew was formed in 2014 to honor former hockey official Michael Dinn. Contributed Photo – Contributed Photo

The ramping up of things

Mike’s Crew was first founded in 2015 to raise funds for cancer research. The group has sold clothing since then and donated what they raised, but Orr said they wanted something more substantial.

Orr said, “Michael is more than just cancer. We thought he would like his name to be associated with an official role.”

It was something that we could all get behind, as it is a kind of initiative for us and by us.

The tournament will feature seven teams each from the St. John’s, Mount Pearl, Bay Roberts, and Harbour Grace minor associations, plus one team each from the Bay Roberts, and Harbour Grace associations.

It is hoped that we can raise enough money each year to equip all first-year officials — approximately 170 per year — with the necessary equipment to start.

Orr said, “We wanted to do something for the officiating profession, because that was his passion, in honour of his memory.”

Mike’s Crew is also raising money by holding a 50/50 raffle at the rink and selling clothing.

This summer, a golf tournament will also be held to raise money.

Fostering community

The tournament isn’t just about raising money. The organizers would like to create a community of officials at the beginning of their careers.

They want to create a friendly atmosphere, where officials show up at the rink to work a game rather than with strangers. Orr says that having a connection keeps people around the game and involved.

Orr said, “We want to make sure that the officials get involved early with one another so they can become friends.”

Orr believes that next year the tournament will grow and be open to more teams. This year’s tournament was only open to referee association members, but a few rec teams expressed interest in participating.

The organizers have already achieved one of their objectives by simply holding the tournament.

Orr says that this weekend, his presence will be felt.