Sticks break. Quite often, it seems.
Since players are penalized for playing with a broken stick, they’ll immediately drop it and head to the bench for a replacement. That leaves it up to the officials to clean up the mess, moving sticks so they don’t affect the play or cause an injury.
Sometimes, as referee Kevin Pollock found out, you’re doing a little cleanup when you’ve got to make a call…
The infraction? Holding the stick, coincidentally.
As Pollock held one of his own, he sent Tampa’s Slater Koekkoek to the penalty box for holding the stick of Buffalo’s William Carrier.
Watched hockey for 30+ years. First time I have ever seen a ref make a call with a stick in his hand. pic.twitter.com/v1vBe0eGaP
— Mike Corcoran (@MikeCorcoranNHL) November 18, 2016
It’s not too common, but it has happened before. Here’s some more refs with sticks: