At the time of his retirement after the 1987 season, D'Amico was the last on-ice official active during the Original Six era. D'Amico's career included 1,689 regular season games, four All-Star games, including the 1979 Challenge Cup and Rendez-vous '87, and 247 Stanley Cup playoff games, including 52 Stanley Cup Finals. His last one was in 1987. He also worked the Canada Cup. In 1988, D'Amico was watching a Leafs game on TV at home when a linesman had to leave a game because of an injury. Not missing a beat, D'Amico grabbed his skates, drove to Maple Leaf Gardens and finished the game. This would become his last on-ice performance as an NHL linesman.
D'Amico was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.
His health problems started in September 2002 when he suffered a heart attack and underwent bypass surgery. Tests following surgery indicated blood abnormalities and a diagnosis of aplastic anemia, which resulted in gallstone problems.
Just before his death, D'Amico made news headlines across Canada when he spoke out about the poor quality of the country's health care system.
D'Amico is survived by wife Dorothy, sons Angelo, Jeff and Anthony, and daughter Tina. Angelo followed in his father's footsteps and was an NHL official from 2000 to 2006.
He was renowned during his career for his immense physical strength. This was especially evident when he was required to break up fights on the ice.
- "John D'Amico". NHLOA Featured Alumni. National Hockey League Officials' Association. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
- "Hall of Fame Linesman John D'Amico Passes Away". Toronto Maple Leafs. May 30, 2005.
- Biographical information and career statistics from Legends of Hockey
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