The US Premier Hockey League has issued a lifetime ban to South Shore Kings forward Paul Halloran for attacking an on-ice official.
The linesman appeared to hop on the boards in an attempt to avoid the play. Contact was made between the official and Halloran, though it’s hard to determine if it was incidental. The referee gestured toward Halloran, pointing him toward the penalty box. That’s when the penalized player attacked.
Halloran punched the linesman, knocking him to the ice.
Just your average tier 3 junior game in the States… pic.twitter.com/JasARhGRUO
— World Hockey Report (@worldhockeyrpt) February 20, 2022
USPHL Commissioner Bob Turow has issued a statement on behalf of the league:
“The action taken today by a USPHL player is completely unacceptable in the USPHL. The USPHL has zero tolerance for any player striking any official, at any time. The player in question’s actions have led to a lifetime ban. The incident is currently being investigated by local authorities and as such the USPHL will have no further comments at this time.”
ESPN rules analyst Dave Jackson weighed in on some of the comments posted on social media.
“I can’t believe there are comments on here justifying this sucker-punch. This is an inexcusable act and it’s why we’re losing minor hockey officials at an alarming rate. Imagine that was your son or daughter officiating.”
The USPHL has acted swiftly. We’ll wait to see if the police take any action.
We’ll also see which – if any – other leagues or organizations follow along with the ban. Halloran will certainly be looking for a new team… we’ll see which clubs and leagues may welcome him.