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Columnist thinks Stephane Auger may have been forced out of work

Jun 16, 2012, 3:41 PM EDT

Stephane Auger Getty Images

Yesterday’s announcement that referee Stephane Auger decided to retire from the NHL after 13 years at age 41 came as a bit of a surprise. After all, referees retiring well into what should be the prime of their career is a bit strange.

It’s so much of a surprise, in fact, David Shoalts of The Globe And Mail believes it may not have been Auger’s decision to retire.

The Montreal native decided to retire at the age of 41, the league release claimed, “in order to spend more time with his wife and three children.” There was no mention of a private income, recent inheritance or lottery win that would make this possible.

However, if Auger was forced to the retirement line, as some of his peers suspect, he is entitled to a severance package that will allow him as much as a couple of years as a stay-at-home dad, depending on his length of service. Auger could not be reached for comment but the fact he was not given a farewell season, as many referees are, also indicates the “retirement” was not his choice.

Auger hasn’t been the best of officials in the league. In fact, you could argue he’s been one of the poorer men in stripes in the league. Working just 10 playoff games in 13 seasons of work shows as much. If this was the league’s way of saying, “Go out on your own terms or ours” though, Auger made the right call to leave with his head held high.

  1. babar61 - Jun 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Oh well. Either way i’m just happy that jerk is gone.

  2. loinstache - Jun 16, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    haha burrows was right

  3. kingfooj - Jun 16, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    This guy made even the biggest haters shed some remorse for burrows, he really was that horrible….

  4. jimw81 - Jun 16, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    I wish they force Chris lee out of league.

  5. RoseTintedVisor - Jun 16, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Hahahaha. Thats what you get for giving Frans Nielsen his only game misconduct ever. Frans, as acting captain (streit was out), was asking for an explanation on a call.


  6. ironmike778 - Jun 17, 2012 at 7:30 AM

    I don’t know this guy specifically but if the league is trying to dump the lousy officials then good, it’s needed!! The officiating the past couple of years has been atrocious.

    • imleftcoast - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      Agreed, inconsistent officiating is really hurting the on-ice product.

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