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For ref Hasenfratz, arduous road back to job he loves Print E-mail
Written by John Manasso - NHL.com   

At times this season, players have skated up to referee Mike Hasenfratz and asked him where he's been.

The answer is surprising and tends to catch them off guard. Being the self-deprecating type, Hasenfratz tries to downplay the fact that open heart surgery and the subsequent recovery caused him to miss the entire 2009-10 and 2010-11 NHL seasons.

That Hasenfratz is healthy and functioning well owes something to an act of fate. When he became an NHL official, Hasenfratz started wearing a $110 heart monitor during training camp as part of League procedure.

Over the years, the monitor would help to detect a potentially life-threatening condition.

"For $110, it probably saved me, probably saved me my life," Hasenfratz said. "I'm the luckiest guy in the world that I wore a heart monitor one time."