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Fraser: Explaining Henrik Sedin's unsportsmanlike penalty

Kerry Fraser

10/19/2011 11:53:48 AM

Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry Fraser wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn.ca!

Hi Kerry, I was hoping you could clarify Henrik Sedin's penalty in Tuesday night's Canucks game. Henrik passed his teammate his stick - with his own stick - and ended up getting an unsportsmanlike penalty. I don't understand how that was unsportsmanlike, or how he did anything bad.
 
Thanks,
Barjinder Parhar 
Vancouver, BC

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Hey Kerry,

During the Canucks-Rangers game, Henrik Sedin got a penalty for being "unsportsmanlike."  He nudged a fallen stick back to his teammate and got penalized.  I've always wondered why, when a player loses his stick, he doesn't just pick it back up.  I keep thinking, "C'mon man, your stick's only ten feet away from you! You need your stick! Pick it up!" What's up with players losing their sticks and continuing empty-handed?

Thanks.

Norman Yeung,
Toronto

Barjinder and Norman: TSN analyst Mike Johnson immediately made the right call from between the glass in Vancouver last night on the TSN broadcast as did referee Ian Walsh from the ice when Henrik made an illegal stick pass to his teammate, Dan Hamhuis in violation of rule 10.3 Broken Stick – Player.

"A player who has lost or broken his stick may only receive a stick at his own players' bench or be handed one at his players' bench or be handed one from a teammate on the ice. A player (Henrik Sedin) will be penalized if he throws, tosses, slides or shoots a stick to a teammate on the ice."

Many players (former and current) do not know this rule so helmets off everyone to Mike Johnson for getting it right.

Here are some other variations of the rule that might come into play.  Should they occur you will be one step ahead of the correct call on the ice. Let's assume that Henrik knew the rule and picked up his teammates stick and while in the act of skating it to Hamhuis got involved in the play while he had two sticks in his hands (i.e. checked an opponent or played the puck).  Henrik would receive a minor penalty as a player is only allowed to participate in the play with one stick.

The same rule applies if a player retrieves a goalkeeper's stick. He must physically transport it to the goalie and hand it to him or drop it in his crease to avoid a minor penalty. For violation of this rule the player is assessed a minor penalty for "throwing the stick." Under no circumstance can a player participate in the play while transporting a goal stick and would incur an automatic minor penalty for playing with an illegal stick; no measurement required here!  (A goalkeeper is the only player on the ice that can play with a broken stick without incurring a minor penalty).

Finally, if a player is tendered a stick thrown on the ice from the player's or penalty bench he will not receive a penalty. The person responsible for throwing the stick would receive a bench minor penalty.

I trust this clears up any confusion on the call that Mike Johnson and Ian Walsh made last night on Henrik.