Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews saw a teammate in need of a stick, and decided to help the guy out.

It was cool.  It showed amazing skill.  It was totally illegal.


As impressive as Matthews’ behind-the-back stick flip maneuver was, it’s against the rules.

Here’s 10.3 to lay down the law:

A player who has lost or broken his stick may receive a replacement stick by having one handed to him from his own players’ bench; by having one handed to him by a teammate on the ice; or, by picking up his own unbroken stick or that of a teammate’s from the ice.

A player will be penalized if he throws, tosses, slides or shoots a stick to a teammate on the ice, or if he picks up and plays with an opponent’s stick.

A minor penalty shall be imposed for an infraction of this rule.

A player tendered a stick thrown on the ice from the players’ or penalty bench will not receive a penalty. However, the person responsible for throwing the stick will receive a bench minor penalty.

This isn’t the first time Matthews has pulled off this move. Earlier this season, he got away with the same play in a game against the Bruins.

We won’t argue that it’s an amazingly impressive move that requires amazing skill and hand-eye coordination.  It just happens that it’s not a legal one under NHL Rule 10.3.