Ottawa’s Austin Watson was fired up. Now he may have to pay up. After battling with Florida’s Radko Gudas, he verbally unloaded on the officials, and the league may have something to say about that.
With 8:30 remaining in the third, Senators winger Brady Tkachuk took a run at Florida’s Patric Hornqvist, crosschecking him from behind in front of the benches. A scrum ensued, with players from both sides pairing off.
Linesman Ryan Daisy was separating players from the possibly-injured Hornqvist while his partner, rookie linesman C.J. Murray, dove in to break up an on-ice battle between Watson and Panthers defenseman Radko Gudas. Referee Trevor Hanson closely watched the two, stepping in to help restrain the left hand of Gudas with both players down.
Once Daisy escorted Tkachuk off the ice, he helped chaperone Watson’s departure. As the winger headed off, he turned and yelled at the officials, appearing to direct his ire towards Hanson.
No additional penalties were handed out to Watson for his tirade. Watson and Gudas picked up matching ten-minute misconducts, along with one to Tkachuk. The only non-off-setting call was the initial roughing minor to Tkachuk.
We’ll wait to see if NHL Hockey Ops follows up on the incident with any action towards Watson. Note that this is handled by Hockey Ops and not by Player Safety, though either a fine or suspension could be possible. It’d be interesting to know how the on-ice officials documented this in their post-game report; we’ve seen in the past that their take often carries quite some weight in how the league follows up.
NHL Hockey Ops is dealing with a couple of ref related incidents from Thursday night. Sorting through John Cooper’s ejection and the aftermath of Senators forward, Austin Watson’s late game verbal tirade seemingly directed at an official.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 4, 2022
The Florida Panthers won the game 3-0. Referees were Trevor Hanson (#14) and Jake Brenk (#26). Linesmen were Ryan Daisy (#81) and C.J. Murray (#68).