Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette thought a penalty should have been called after he caught an elbow up high in the corner. Frustrated upon his return to the bench, he shouted and threw his glove in the general direction of referee Gord Dwyer.
Dwyer quickly and efficiently returned the missing mitt, much to the surprise of Tampa’s Ryan Callahan.
Seriously, Callahan nearly dislocated his jaw with that shocked expression before he, too, screamed at the official.
The Bolts wingers are lucky they didn’t get penalized on the play. Rule 75 covers unsportsmanlike conduct.
75.2 Minor Penalty – A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct shall be assessed under this rule for the following infractions
(i) Any identifiable player who uses obscene, profane or abusive language or gestures directed at any person.
(iii) Any player who throws any object onto the ice from the players’ or penalty bench (or from any other off-ice location).
The far greater offense committed by Paquette is covered under Rule 40 – Physical Abuse of Officials.
40.4 Automatic Suspension – Category III – Any player who, by his actions, physically demeans an official or physically threatens an official by (but not limited to) throwing a stick or any other piece of equipment or object at or in the general direction of an official, shooting the puck at or in the general direction of an official, spitting at or in the general direction of an official … shall be suspended for not less than three (3) games.
Throwing a glove at a ref should be an automatic three-game suspension. A bit extreme? Sure, but – in the words of retired referee Mike Leggo – you can’t do that.
While Callahan may have objected to the speed with which Paquette’s glove made its triumphant return, how it found its way to the ice could have been a bigger problem for the Lightning.