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Officials off to great start, but know true tests to come

Updated: December 8, 2005, 1:05 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- It has not been an easy birth. But if we accept that what has transpired in a few short months amounts to a rebirth of the National Hockey League, then the referees and linesmen are the game's midwives helping to deliver the sport back to relevancy.

Quite simply, all of the feel-good stories, the attendance records, the often frenetic product on the ice, are but a whisper, a dream, without the referees and linesmen.

Will you ever see a player put his arm around ...

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