From ESPN‘s Scott Burnside (5/21/08):
Dan O’Halloran isn’t given to superstition. Yet the NHL referee wears the No. 13 on his jersey as a nod to the way fate intercedes in all our lives, marking the path between misfortune and happiness, success and failure, life and death.
During the playoffs, we often talk about the sacrifices players make to reach the Stanley Cup finals, and how getting here requires commitment and good fortune. NHL officials are no different: This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings represents their ultimate competition. Only the best of the best are chosen to call these games. This is their Stanley Cup as much as it is the players’.
So every day, when O’Halloran steps out of the shower and notes the meandering scar that runs from his stomach around to his back, he is doubly thankful to be here, not just professionally, but at all.
“You wonder about karma sometimes,” the 44-year-old O’Halloran told ESPN.com this week. “March 13, 1983, was the day I was shot. So that’s why I wear No. 13.”
Read the full story over in the ESPN Archives.