Some penalties are automatic, like shooting the puck over the glass.  That’ll get you two minutes in the box.

Try it with a stick, though, and you’ll sit for ten. 

New York Rangers forward Kevin Hayes found himself with a lot of time to think about Rule 53 on Monday night. 

From the NHL Rulebook:

53.4 Misconduct or Game Misconduct Penalty – A misconduct penalty shall be imposed on a player who unintentionally or accidentally throws his stick or any part thereof or any other object or piece of equipment outside the playing area.

If the offense is committed intentionally, a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to the offending player.

If the offense is committed in protest of an official’s  decision, a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to the offending player.

Though he may have been trying to be helpful in cleaning up the ice, he did it right in front of referee Dan O’Rourke – presumably on his way over to clean up the snapped twig. 

While it gets offending debris out of the way, it’s a dangerous move for spectators.  With the play up ice, it’s very likely that the fans nearby were looking elsewhere.  They certainly wouldn’t be expecting a flying stick fragment. 

This is the same rule that saw Mats Sundin suspended one game for tossing his broken stick into the crowd.