It happened again tonight. Was cruising between the Canucks vs Detroit and Oilers vs Chicago tonight. The Oilers game was actually much more entertaining, as the refs in the Canucks game had apparently decided it was going to be a penalty-free night for the Wings.
Anyway, Sam Gagne, who hadn’t scored in 21 games, was having a spectacular night and at about 8 minutes into the third period he scored his third goal. A hat trick! He’d already had an additional three assists…..he was in on every Edmonton goal that night and the Oiler fans, naturally threw their hats onto the ice to celebrate this unique hockey tradition.
But the NHL, apparently believes the hat trick ceremony is some sort of dreadful, disgraceful exhibition and therefore send a team of rink rats onto the ice, as the crowd was still cheering. The rink rats hat a large plastic bucket and were scooping up the hats almost as fast as they could fall to the ice.
What a disgraceful, sacrilegious treatment by the NHL of one of hockey’s most sacred fan appreciation traditions. What the hell is wrong with seeing hats strewn upon the ice in celebration of a truly rare and spectacular event?
A few minutes later and Gagne scored his fourth goal of the night. An enterprising fan threw a shoe on the ice and immediately there was an announcement that any more articles thrown on the ice would result in a “delay of game” penalty. Excuse me? Someone scores four goals…..an extremely unusuaal event….and the tradtional celebration is worth a penalty? What the hell have we come to.
Then, by some miracle, Gagne assisted on the Oilers 8th goal of the night. The first time sine 1989 that any playr had scored eight points in a single game. It wa a “night for the ages” as the annoucners put it. But God forbid that the fans should celebrate with anything throuwn on the ice. Lets say an octopus, or salmon or maybe cuz it’s Edmonton, a dead magpie?
The NHL should have more respect for the game and its traditions. I’ll say it again. Gary Betman is an ass.