Andy Van Hellemond spent 27 years refereeing in the NHL before hanging up his skates in 1996. Three years later, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame after 1,475 regular season games and 227 in the playoffs, including 19 Stanley Cup Final appearances. He was also a trendsetter in becoming the first official to wear a helmet beginning in 1984.
In another trendsetting move, Van Hellemond has become the first NHL official to file a lawsuit over a comic strip.
Van Hellemond has apparently taken exception to this Adam@home comic strip and has served notices to newspapers that ran it on May 29, 2011, as well as the cartoon's creators, that he intends to sue for libel.
From the Toronto Star, which was one of the papers served:
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"Our position is that the statement, that someone's 'the worst and most evil,' is a libellous statement," Gavin Tighe, Van Hellemond's lawyer, said this week. "You talk about evil, Adolf Hitler jumps to mind. Or Satan. ... Here's a guy whose entire career was