NHL referee Garrett Rank has nerves of steel. Last week, he won the Canadian men’s mid-amateur golf tournament. Last night, he suited up for his first game as an NHL referee.
The Flyers and Leafs didn’t make it easy for him.
In the third period of Monday night’s game, Leafs defenseman Korbinian Holzer objected to a late hit along the boards by Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds. The Toronto blueliner went right after Simmonds with his gloves in the winger’s face. Simmonds was the first to drop the mitts, though, and stopped Holzer with a few solid punches. Linesmen Steve Miller (#89) and Scott Driscoll (#68) jumped in to end the scrap. Simmonds kept trying to go after Holzer, chirping at him even after the two were separated.
Rookie referee Rank had seen enough. He sent Simmonds packing, hitting him with a game misconduct.
From the NHL rulebook:
46.5 Continuing or Attempting to Continue a Fight – Any player who persists in continuing or attempting to continue a fight or altercation after he has been ordered by the Referee to stop, or who resists a Linesman in the discharge of his duties shall, at the discretion of the Referee, incur a misconduct or game misconduct penalty in addition to any penalties imposed.
It’s a good thing Simmonds stopped short of trying to wrestle free of Miller’s grasp. The last time that happened, Dan Carcillo found himself suspended for six games. The linesman Carcillo grappled with? Scott Driscoll, who was on the ice for this game. (He’s the one restraining Holzer.)
Rank might have been a bit quick on the toss — it’s hard to say without getting into what was going on at ice-level — but it’s nice to see him asserting himself out there in his first game as an NHL official.
Stick-tap to Broad Street Hockey