Flyers captain Claude Giroux just needed a tissue. But, hey, you’re out there on the ice for an important draw. No time to run to the bench. The classic ‘snot rocket’ technique just seems so juvenile, and there’s always the risk you’ll end up with a dangler. Hockey pants don’t have pockets, so you don’t have any tissues with you. You certainly don’t want to soil your beautiful sweater… What’s a hockey player to do?
Use the linesman, apparently.
That’s what Giroux appeared to do to veteran linesman Greg Devorski just prior to an offensive zone faceoff.
Giroux denied the charges, despite the video evidence. “Do you really think I’d do that?” asked Giroux.
Last time he touched an authority figure he made headlines. This time is no different, but now we have video evidence of the act.
The NHL rule book doesn’t specifically address Giroux’s act. It does, though, include penalties for spitting on officials.
40.3 Automatic Suspension – Category II – Any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner (excluding actions as set out in Category I), which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official,shall be automatically suspended for not less than ten (10) games.
Is wiping your nose on an official’s back less offensive than spitting?
Devorski, if he didn’t realize what happened at the time, certainly knows now. He won’t forget.
Neither will his brother, referee Paul Devorski. Keep an eye on those penalty calls – especially on Giroux – the next time a Devorski is working a Flyers game. This is not how you want to get on the officials’ good sides.
(For the record, neither is biting your opponent’s jersey…)