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Retired NHL referee reflects on career

The pinnacle of Tim Peel’s career came in the 2014 Winter Games, where he received a bronze medal for the game he refereed.

ST. LOUIS — He’s encouraging the next generation, coaching peewee hockey alongside former Blue Jamal Mayers. St. Louis native Tim Peel wants to nurture their dreams.

“We need our kids to be able to dream and have goals and so on,” said Peel.

He knows the value of dreaming. Peel, who was adopted, grew up in a trailer park and had a tough childhood. But he didn’t let his circumstances hold him back. That led him to the NHL as a referee.

“A lot of years grinding it, making your way, you now I was hired when I was 32 years old,” said Peel.

Now retired, Tim refereed more than 1,300 games during his 23 years in the league. But he said the pinnacle came in 2014, when he was picked to referee at the Winter Games.

“Being chosen for the Olympics, I just look back on my childhood and where I come from and it really humbled me. It’s something I’ll be able to cherish and have a memory forever.”

A shadowbox now displays Tim’s mementos including a whistle he used at the Olympics and a bronze medal.

“Honored that I was considered the second-best referee over there that I was able to work the bronze game,” said Peel.

Now as he coaches, Peel is hoping to also inspire and maybe one day, one of these kids will see their dreams of going to the Olympics come true.

"These players have a great pride when they put on that American jersey and I think that’s something we can’t overlook and something that we need our kids to strive for.”

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