Ned Fellers Photos

Ned Fellers Photo Collection

Courtesy: Ned Fellers, Eastern Hockey League (EHL) and International Hockey League (IHL) Linesman

Commentary by Ned Fellers

Bob Giovati and Jim Maxwell Summer golf outing. As with many of the EHL players, certain EHL officials could hold their own on the links. Pictured EHL refs Bob Giovati and Jim Maxwell, southern division refs fresh off the course, around 1968 or '69. Bob became a year around Charlotte resident later in his career and like Jim who ran a gas station, worked the majority of the games in the six team southern loop.
Vern Buffey (deceased) and Ned Fellers EHL linesman, outside the St. Louis Arena, Sunday May 4, 1969. Final score Montreal 2, St. Louis 1. The game resulted in the Stanley Cup being presented to Canadiens and was noteworthy, due to the fact that this was the first series between the two divisions and the increase of six to twelve teams. Fellers, Moran, and many others learned the elements of officiating, i.e. rules, physical conditioning, and on ice positioning during the Summer officiating camps run by Buffey, Bruce Hood, Bill Friday, and others in Haliburton, and Guelph, Ontario.
Kerry Fraser, retired NHL referee, Ned Fellers linesman, officals reunion, Windsor, Ont July 2007. Fraser, with whom I worked many games, worked two seasons in the IHL and American leagues as basically,a trainee. He went on to work 30 years in the NHL from 1988 to 2010; taking in 1828 regular season and 261 playoff games. His autobiography, "Final Call" has been out a couple of years.
Big Rick Foley, Charlotte Checkers, was never at a loss for a final word after a fight. In this case however, he was not jawing at the officials (Ned Fellers and Bob Giovatti) but rather a Jacksonville Rocket player; out of the picture. I believe this to be the '68-69 season.
Mark Brunet of the Jacksonville Rokets, and Kas Lysionek of the Greensboro Generals at the Jacksonville Coliseum, Zamboni end of ice, following a skirmish. Harrison Gray, Jax goalie, unexcitedly, looks on. Linesman Ned Fellers' pants were of correct length , but sometimes became elevated after breaking up a fight. The arena was rather unique in the fact there was no direct spectator seating at floor level at either end. Note the protective "chicken wire" way before the days of glass partitions. Despite being the southernmost city in the division, other than a handful of games played in St Petersburg, the ice plant and those responsible for maintaining it were both pretty decent from what I can remember.
Article that appeared in my home town paper, following officiating school; definitely was a rookie linesman…lord, did I know what awaited me before being thrown into the EHL wars.

Francis Brown, Ned Fellers Jacksonville Coliseum; Brown was an over the-road truck driver who worked the occasional game when I was there.

It wasn't that the Eastern league wasn't "fun" but a new job caused me to move back north and be hired by the IHL. Nine teams in those years, Flint, Saginaw, Pt Huron, Dayton, Columbus, Ft Wayne, Muskegon, and Toledo, with Des Moines being far to the West. Their team bus was probably closest to special travel refinements of an EHL rig, with built-in bunks and kitchens, due to the length of their road trips. Linesmen Ned Fellers and Lugui Cortez break up a fight in Saginaw..Muskegon player Lynn Margarit on the ice. You had to be careful wading in; Lynn sometimes had a nasty habit of biting a player on the arm if in a headlock. Saginaw followed Flint into the league approximately 1973 and played to 5000 plus crowds. The Civic Center currently has been home to an Ontario Hockey League Tier A team for the last nine years. Talented OHL players have been known to jump directly to the NHL.
Skate diagram….The CCM warehouse staff in Buffalo could locate and ship custom fit skates for both players and officials. The "Tackaberry" was the standard model. Note the foot stats in "heel" and "ball" width. One season during my IHL years, the Lange ski boot people rushed a novel plastic boot skate onto the market; but technology had not caught up to the failed lace eyelets and many failed. The skates were free, but three quarters of the way into the season, most guys went back to the CCMs. Other equipment, Metropolitan Uniform Supply in Detroit supplied a quality all wool firemans' pant with a sewn-in crease. Red suspenders, long underwear, a cup, soccer shin pads and basketball knee guards, the "Crosby" referees' jersey, and the whistle that looped over the fingers were pretty much it.
Ed "Moe" Bartoli, Columbus coach who came to Columbus from the EHL Long Island Ducks. He started his career in the EHL with the Philadelphia Ramblers, Washington Lions and Clinton Comets in the mid 1950s. Linesman Ned Fellers and Referee Jim Hanham, Hamilton, Ontario look on.
Fight at center ice..Jacksonville Rockets and Greensboro Generals. Linesmen Ned Fellers and Don Shepard, Referee Jim Maxwell (guessing 1968-69). We (the linesmen) had pretty much a standard of not intervening until one of the combatants went down, or into a clutch, or until ordered by the referee. I admit my experience in those first two years, the EHL was definitely a "baptism by fire."
Jacksonville Rocket and Charlotte Checkers players following a fight. Linesman Ned Fellers referee, (unidentified linesman), and linesman Don Shepard. Note the simplicity of the goal judge area; sat on a stool, two red lights above him; sometimes we could not see them on the ice. Unfortunately, some EHL and other minor league goal judges were distinct "homers" and would flick on goal light if home team put puck anywhere near the goal line. If memory serves me correctly, the guys in Jacksonville were fair and objective. There were games in other leagues where three times in my career a ref booted a goal judge.

For the uninitiated fan, Rule 38: "a goal judge shall not be members of either club, engaged in a game, nor shall they be replaced during its progress, unless after the commencement of the game it becomes apparent that either goal judge because of partisanship or any other cause is guilty of giving unjust decisions, the referee may appoint another goal judge in his stead"

In the IHL but you could make the comparison if any of the EHL rinks had less than the 200' long by 85' wide ice surface. You might know all the dimensions. The 185x 80 surfaces in Toledo and Port Huron, for example, required the 15 foot differential to be made up in the neutral zone between the blue lines…the "front" linesman" depending on direction of play, and to be on his toes and very observant with fast breaking teams, as well as be aware of a point signal from his back partner, to call the "bang-bang" play at center ice red line offsides.

Ned Fellers outside on real ice in Michigan.

Linesman Ned Fellers, Referee Jim Maxwell, Linesman Francis Brown (looks like he might be praying) watch Harold White. I assume, reflecting on it many years later, that the picture denotes the end of a period or game, due to the fact we are nowhere near the Jacksonville penalty box. White played at Jax and a number of years at Toledo..I used to see him now and then at Michigan and Ontario oldtimers tournaments ten years ago. He liked to yap a lot on the ice but away from the game a pretty decent fellow. Note the AHAUS (AHOUSE) emblem on Jim's jersey. By loose definition, the EHL was considered an "amateur" league; I believe, if memory serves me correctly referees had to display them; it was optional for linesmen.
Jacksonville Rockets team photo…(Ned Fellers, upper right suit coat) one summer I did a little part time ticket sales for the team.
Expanded lens view of Macon Coliseum. This was the first hockey game ever played in the state of Georgia. October 30, 1968. The Jacksonville Rockets defeated the Nashville Dixie Flyers 5-2, the first of six "home" games for Jacksonville in Macon that season. I know Ted Daily worked the game because I remember riding there with him and his wife. Macon was offered to join the EHL, but declined until the league split in 1973, at which point Macon joined the SHL.
Pictures from the 1972 AHAUS Guide…
inside front cover Tom Lockhart…page 53 Charlotte Checkers team photo