Columbus Blue Jackets’ rookie Dmitry Voronkov failed to have his jersey properly tied down – but avoided a penalty – in a fight against Montreal Canadiens’ Arber Xhekaj.

Xhekaj objected to a hit delivered by Voronkov 4:35 into Thursday’s game in Montreal. Xhekaj retaliated by grabbing the rookie forward and issuing gloved punches. The two players then dropped the gloves for a proper scrap. 

When the dust settled, each combatant picked up seven minutes in penalties. Two to Voronkov for boarding on the initial hit, two to Xhekaj on the retaliation, and five each for fighting.

But what about the jersey tie-down?  Shouldn’t that be a penalty?  Check Rule 46.13:

A player who engages in a fight and whose jersey is not properly“tied-down” (jersey properly fastened to pants), and who loses his jersey (completely off his torso) in that altercation, shall receive a game misconduct penalty.

If the player loses his jersey despite the tie down remaining in tact and attached to the pants, the game misconduct is not applicable, however this must be reported to the League office so that the jersey and the tie down can be examined.

Voronkov clearly didn’t have his tie-down fastened properly. The only thing that saved him from an ejection is that his jersey never came completely off. 

The rule was implemented to avoid players removing their jerseys or leaving the tie-downs loose to make their jerseys more easily removed to free up their arms during a fight.  You can thank Rob Ray, among others, for that one.


Referees for the game were Kevin Pollock (33) and Cody Beach (#45); linespersons were Kyle Flemington (#55) and Ben O’Quinn (#91).