The point of a penalty is that the player is unable to join the play for a set duration. The penalty box is there to physically prevent the player from doing so until the appropriate time. Boston Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton didn’t quite get that.
At 18:23 of the first period of the Bruins’ game against the Los Angeles Kings, Hamilton was whistled for tripping Anze Kopitar. He started the second period in the box to finish serving the final 23 seconds of his penalty. He stood up. The door opened. Hamilton reached out – still standing in the penalty box – to play the puck. Referee Brad Meier had no choice but to blow the whistle, even though time had expired on the penalty.
Not exactly a play I’d ever seen before. Nor was it for CSN’s Joe Haggerty:
Dougie Hamilton plays the puck while his skates are still in penalty box, and he's called for interference. First time I've ever seen that
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) January 10, 2014
Pete Blackburn over at Days Of Yorr said it best:
The NHL’s pretty clear about this one, as detailed specifically in Section 56.2 of the NHL Rulebook:
A minor penalty shall be imposed on any identifiable player on the players’ bench or penalty bench who, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with the movements of the puck or any opponent on the ice during the progress of the play. In addition, should a player about to come onto the ice, play the puck while one or both skates are still on the players’ or penalty bench, a minor penalty for interference shall be assessed.
The Bruins confirmed the call via Twitter:
For those following (& not able to watch) pretty sure penalty called on Dougie bc his feet weren't out of the box when he played the puck^CS
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 10, 2014
Remember boys, both skates on the ice before you play the puck with your stick. (That means you, too, Ryane Clowe)