The Double Life Of QMJHL Official Yannick Massé
Source: Jean-François Plante
In the hectic life of Yannick Massé, every minute counts.
A career ER doctor and coach of his oldest son’s hockey team, Doctor Massé uses his free time to officiate approximately forty games per year.
A native of Outaouais who was brought up in Sorel, Yannick Massé started officiating in the Richelieu region while playing in the midget ranks. Back in his hometown in the 1990’s to pursue his education, he studied nursing before returning to school in 2001 to become a doctor.
Now a resident of Gatineau with his family, the 41 year-old has worked at Ottawa’s Montfort Hospital since 2008.
The 18-year veteran patrols QMJHL blue-lines and like a good wine, he gets better with age. His experience and athletic attributes have enabled him to earn nods for the past four President Cup finals.
Massé will always remember the 2008 final, the year the Olympiques captured the precious title in five games.
"The atmosphere at the Robert-Guertin Centre for all the games was just unbelievable. All of us officiating those games had goose bumps during the national anthem. You don’t forget those games. The Olympiques organization has really great fans. The final between the Shawinigan Cataractes and the Drummondville Voltigeurs were also very emotional."
For Yannic Massé, officiating became a real addiction throughout the years. Even though he works at least 40 hours per week in the ER, over and above what his administrative and teaching duties call for – Montfort Hospital is also a University School – this hockey fanatic still feels the need to travel the Province to live the QMJHL experience.
"I just can’t seem to be able to put my passion for the sport to rest. The ties are just too strong. I love the group and I love to be involved with hockey. Just being on the ice is special for me. I have the best seat in the house to see incredibly talented players. We are truly blessed. There are a lot of great people and I like interacting with the players."
Yannick Massé believes that the game of hockey has changed a lot in the past 18 years.
"On the ice, it’s a lot different. Before, the League was really rough. Today, speed is the name of the game. You have to stay really focused to not fall behind the play. Also, there is so much media attention. Our work is constantly scrutinized."
Even though he just passed forty, Yannick Massé can’t see himself hanging them up in the near future. "It’s tough to say. I’ve just worked four straight finals. It’s a nice feeling. I can’t seem to be able to willingly stop."
As a linesman, he is rarely the victim of public nit-picking compared to referees. But now that you know him a bit better, maybe you’ll be more lenient. He might just save your life one day!
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