Detroit’s Giovani Smith and San Jose’s Jacob Middleton may have dropped the gloves, but it was referee Wes McCauley who dropped the mic with another memorable penalty call.

The duo squared off early in Tuesday night’s game in the Motor City. McCauley sent both players to their respective penalty boxes before announcing the penalties:



As great as McCauley’s call was, it’s worth noting that the ‘air punches’ are now the official hand gesture for fighting penalties. That change, under Rule 29.11, was instituted prior to the start of the 2020-21 NHL season.

The game finished with 63 minutes in penalties handed out. None with as great a call as this one, though.

“The only thing better than Wes McCauley the ref is Wes McCauley the dude in real life,” tweeted ESPN’s John Buccigross. “He’s even more of a beauty. All gas, 11 out of 10 on the energy output.”

Detroit won the game 6-2. The officials were referees Wes McCauley and Kendrick Nicholson with linesmen Devin Berg and Andrew Smith.