Former ref Mick McGeough dies after being removed from life support

Dave Sandford / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Former NHL referee Michael "Mick" McGeough died late Friday night after being taken off life support following a stroke, his son Luke announced.

The 62-year-old was rushed to a Regina hospital on Sunday with the early signs of a stroke, and his condition worsened as he awaited tests. He met with a neurosurgeon in Saskatoon to see if clots in the back of his brain could be removed, but the damage was irreversible.

McGeough then returned to his family in Regina where he was removed from life support.

"The National Hockey League lost a true friend of the game last night with the passing of Mick McGeough," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

"As one of the League’s top referees for 21 years from 1987-88 until his retirement following the 2007-08 season, Mick’s passion for the game shone through on a nightly basis. He earned and maintained respect from players, coaches, general managers and his peers throughout his career with a unique style that combined humility and humor with decisiveness and fairness. The NHL family extends its deepest sympathies to his wife Angie and his five children - Jared, Luke, Kara, Karlie and Isaac."

McGeough officiated 1,083 regular-season games and another 63 playoff contests, including the 2006 Stanley Cup Final between the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes.

McGeough's family set up a GoFundMe page on Thursday with a goal of raising $10,000. As of Saturday morning, it had already raised over $12,000.

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Former ref Mick McGeough dies after being removed from life support
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