Nashville Predators forward Yakov Trenin (13) and Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn (14) react after being called for penalties by referee Garrett Rank (48) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Nashville Predators forward Yakov Trenin (13) and Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn (14) react after being called for penalties by referee Garrett Rank (48) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Behind the stripes: What 3 NHL officials enjoy off the ice

Referees, linesman say sharing other aspects of lives helps humanize them

It has been almost three decades since the NHL took the names off the back of officials’ jerseys and replaced them with numbers.

Since then, with the notable exception of Wes McCauley and his popular, flamboyant calls, most referees and linesmen generally fly under the radar and don’t mind the relative anonymity.

But it’s their lives away from the rink that humanize them to players and coaches, by building rapport and helping games go smoother.

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