While eliminated teams are hitting the links, one NHL referee just got pulled off the course.
Referee Garrett Rank was forced to leave his U.S. Open qualifier to be the standby official for Game 1 between the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche in Denver.
Rank was through five holes when he got the call and headed off. Rank reportedly also withdrew from the upcoming U.S. Amateur Four-Ball tournament.
The official, from Elmira, Ontario, played in the 2018 U.S. Open, and has taken part in four Tour events. He won the 2019 Western Amateur and was runner up at the 2021 Porter Cup, the 2021 Dogwood Invitational, and 2019 Canadian Mid-Amateur — a tournament he won in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Rank will be on standby in case of an illness or injury to the scheduled officials, but otherwise will not be working in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Rank worked four games in the opening round, skating alongside Wes McCauley for Stars/Flames Game 1, Wild/Blues Game 3, Avalanche/Predators Game 4, and Penguins/Rangers Game 5.
Even if he doesn’t hit the ice, Rank will still get paid just for being there.
Here’s a look from last season on how Rank balances his love of one game on the ice and one on the green: