The National Hockey League will see the retirement of five officials this offseason.
Referee Tim Peel has hung up his skates, along with linesmen Brian Mach, Steve Miller, Pierre Racicot, and Tony Sericolo.
Peel, Racicot, and Sericolo were scheduled to retire after the 2020-21 season. It appears that Mach and Miller will be joining them, likely due to injury.
Peel’s last game came on March 24, after a hot mic incident prompted the NHL to pull him from the officiating schedule. He finished his career with 1,362 regular season games along with 90 playoff appearances.
Racicot made his final appearance on May 9, handling a penalty-filled battle between the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. That game capped off a career that saw the Quebec native officiate 1,830 regular season and 254 playoff games, including 10 Stanley Cup Finals. He’s kept busy in retirement, having already signed on to work with younger officials in Europe’s ICE League.
Sericolo worked his 1,500th – and final – NHL game on May 8, finishing up 23 seasons in stripes in the National Hockey League.
Mach and Miller appeared to be in the league’s plans for the 2021-22 season. Injuries kept both off the ice for the entire 2020-21 season, and now it looks like both have called it a career.
Mach was the first Minnesotan to work 1000 NHL games.
“I didn’t plan to do this my entire life,” Mach said. “I thought, [about officiating in] the ECHL, ‘What a great adventure,’ but I thought I’d give myself four years, then re-evaluate, get my master’s and go get a real job.
“But 16 years and 1,000 games later, holy cow, this was like winning the lottery.”
Mach finished up with 1,349, including the 2018 All-Star Game in Tampa.
Miller made his league debut in 2000, going on to man the lines for 1,285 regular season games and 128 playoff matches, including three trips to the Stanley Cup Final.
These five join the four officials who retired after the 2019-20 season: referee Dan O’Halloran and linesmen Scott Driscoll. Darren Gibbs, and Brian Murphy.
Those nine retirements over the past two seasons have opened the door for the latest crop of officials hired by the NHL for the 2021-22 season.