Former NHL defenseman Jakub Kindl put good sportsmanship ahead of everything, even leaving his team shorthanded.
Kindl, who plays for Kölner Haie in the German League (Deutsche Eishockey Liga – DEL), was busy killing a penalty when he went down to the ice. The referee’s arm shot up to call a trip, wiping out the power play for ERC Ingolstadt.
As one-time Leafs winger Jerry D’Amigo headed to the box to serve his time, Kindl caught up with the referee.
The former Red Wings and Panthers blueliner told referee Aleksi Rantala that he wasn’t tripped up on the play. No, Kindl admitted that he went down on his own.
“It could happen to anyone. It’s one of these situations where the forward’s trying to get on you and then I try to escape and then, you know…
“I didn’t feel that he touched me at all,” said Kindl. “It’s unfair, so I immediately told the referee he didn’t touch me at all. It was my fault. I slipped. I lost the edge on my skates so it wasn’t a penalty.”
“The referee told me he appreciated what I did, number one, and number two, he thought I was trying to pull him down,” Kindl added. “He was skating away. I was trying to tell him that I fell on my own, so the penalty wasn’t necessary at all.”
D’Amigo was released from the box, his team returning to the power play.
#TEILDESSPIELS: Respekt für Jakub Kindl von @Koelner_Haie_72. Strafe gepfiffen und er geht zum Schiedsrichter, um ihm zu sagen, dass das kein Foul war, sondern er nur weggerutscht ist. Und das beim Stand von 1:1 und Powerplay für den @ERCIngolstadt. Das ist Fairplay! pic.twitter.com/juY9rehHvc
— Deutsche Eishockey Liga (@DELoffiziell) November 4, 2019
Kölner Haie head coach Mike Stewart offered a tip of the hat to his defenseman, even if the lost penalty put his team at a disadvantage on the ice.
“It just felt right for me at the moment [to let the referee know],” said Kindl.
Kindl’s club went on to win the game 3-2.
Curiously, this is the second such display of sportsmanship in the past week. Over in the NHL, Flyers forward Jakub Voracek helped the refs wave off a called high stick that never made contact.