San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane and head coach Pete DeBoer were both ejected from Saturday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights after arguing a call.
Things got heated after Kane, fresh from the penalty box, took a tripping penalty for a low hit on the Knights’ Tomas Nosek. The hit came with Vegas leading 5-0 with 4:19 to play in the second period.
Kane argued the call as he was being escorted off the ice by linesman Lonnie Cameron. Referees Ian Walsh and Kyle Rehman had heard enough. They tacked on an additional two for unsportsmanlike conduct, followed by another ten for abuse of officials.
Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer would make his own exit shortly thereafter.
“I didn’t even swear, I just asked [the referee], ‘Did that feel good kicking Evander out under these circumstances?'” DeBoer said. “That was enough I guess. I guess he wanted another victim.”
It appeared that was the final straw for Walsh and Rehman. A frustrated DeBoer had been waiting on the bench for the officials prior to the start of the second period, his team already trailing 4-0 after the opening period. Sharks’ play-by-play man Dan Rusanowsky relayed the intermission interaction.
“DeBoer gave referee Ian Walsh a real earful at the start of this period; he was waiting for him on the bench before Walsh came out of the referee’s break room and really had an animated conversation, and continued to go at Walsh even after Walsh had skated away, and was yelling at him from across the rink.”
— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) November 25, 2018
Rule 39, which covers Abuse of Officials, advises – in part – the following:
A player, goalkeeper, Coach or non-playing person shall not challenge or dispute the rulings of an official before, during or after a game. A player, goalkeeper, Coach or non-playing person shall not display unsportsmanlike conduct including, but not limited to, obscene, profane or abusive language or gestures, comments of a personal nature intended to degrade an official, or persist in disputing a ruling after being told to stop or after being penalized for such behavior.
The rule requires a minor penalty for “any player who challenges or disputes the ruling of an official or who uses obscene, profane or abusive language or gestures directed at any on or off-ice official.” The penalty escalates to a misconduct if the player persists in their arguments or coarse language, then to a game misconduct.
In addition, the referees are required to file a report with the league offices regarding full details of the incident for review by the commissioner.
Kane was asked what prompted the referees to issue the game misconduct.
“I have no idea, to be honest with you,” said Kane. “You’d have to ask the ref. It’s funny, I get a high stick in the second shift, no call [in a] 0-0 game. It kind of gets mentioned to me that they’re going to make that call and all of a sudden they’re kicking me out of the game.”
In his post-game, DeBoer criticized the officials’ decision to toss Kane.
“Absolutely no feel [for the game],” said DeBoer. “You’ve got a team down 5-0, already short on the bench with Couture hurt, and you’re going to kick a guy out for arguing a call because emotions are high. Have a little feel for the game .”
When asked if the refs ejected Kane to try to get control of the game, he offered a terse response.
“I don’t know. You’d have to ask them.”
Kane and DeBoer weren’t the only ones to have their nights cut short. San Jose’s Barclay Goodrow was also sent to the showers at 9:43 of the third after an altercation and apparently verbal exchange with Vegas forward William Carrier near the Knights’ bench. He picked up a minor for unsportsmanlike and a ten-minute misconduct that effectively ended his night.