Long-time NHL referee Bill McCreary will officiate his final regular season game tonight as the Capitals host the Sabres at Verizon Center. McCreary began his NHL officiating career with a game between the Capitals and New Jersey Devils at the Capital Centre back on Nov. 3, 1983 and this will mark the 1,737th game he’s worked in his career.

Given Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau’s time in various leagues over the course of his career he has a history with many players, coaches and referees including McCreary. He didn’t share any specific stories and being that this is a family blog we might not have been able to use them but Boudreau did say he believes McCreary is one of the best referees in the league.

“We used to argue quite a lot in the American League,” Boudreau said. “I’ve known Bill half my life. It’s a real honor for us I think that he chose to finish his career in Washington. He’s been one of the best referees if not the best referee in this league for many years.”

Asked why he believes McCreary is one of the best officials, Boudreau explained.

“He knows the game and he can read the game,” Boudreau said. “He didn’t call all the piddly stuff unless it was that kind of game or he’d let stuff go and he’d come over and communicate with the coaches. If anybody wants to be a good ref all you have to do is be able to communicate with the coaches and it makes it so much easier on everybody concerned.”