Brad Watson (Regina, SK) began officiating in 1978 when he completed his official’s exam and started officiating Level 1 hockey. He would make the move up to Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League as linesman in 1982. After two seasons, Watson progressed to the Western Hockey League as linesman in 1984. The following seasons, Watson would be selected as Linesman for the 1985 Air Canada Cup, the 1986 Memorial Cup, and the 1987 Centennial Cup Humboldt. It was in 1987 that Warson would make the jump to refereeing and would complete his CAHA Level 6 certification. In 1989, Watson would attend the National Hockey League Referee’s Evaluation Camp and be selected as an NHL trainee. That same year he would be selected to be a Linesman in the 1989 Word Juniors. The years following, Watson would referee the WHL finals in 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993. In 1993 he would be offered his first NHL contract. Watson’s first NHL game was on March 7, 1995, in Pittsburgh with the Penguins facing off against the Ottawa Senators. Watson would go on to referee the 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999 American Hockey League’ Calder Cup, 1997 Turner Cup Finals, and many International leagues.
To add to the already impressive resume, Watson would accomplish officiating the 1992 Memorial Cup Final, the 1991 Isvestia Cup in Moscow, Russia, the 1992 Spangler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. Watson also refereed in the 1997 AHL All Star Game and the 2008 NHL All Star Game.
Watson had many milestones during his time, among them were referee the Stanley Cup finals in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2014. On January 21st, 2014, Watson completed his 1000th NHL game as a referee in Denver, Colorado. To date, he has over 1,100 NHL regular season game and 182 playoff games.