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Loose Sticks on the Ice.......


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Watching some of the Panther-Red Wings game, game taking place at Joe Louis, and during a Florida PP, one of the Red Wings loses his stick (not broken), and it lays near the blue line as the Panthers attempt to set up on the PP.


One of the Florida players, moves the stick away from the blue line towards the neutral zone..........and the Detroit bench proceeds to go ape-chit over that!

The Detroit coach wanted an INTERFERENCE penalty on Florida (he didn't get one), because the Panther player moved the stick to the neutral zone.


My question it, what is the etiquette or rule here!??


I mean, was the Detroit bench correct in getting angry over that?

Seemed to me, the Panther player was moving a now foreign object on the ice that could affect play (puck could hit it, or players can trip over it), and simply slid it out of the area where the current play was taking place.


I realize this aids Florida (removing the object from the offensive zone where they  have the PP) and puts Detroit at a disadvantage because now the Detroit player will have to leave the zone to retrieve his stick (NOT something he will be doing while Florida players are taking shots at his goaltender)....but I honestly didn't see anything wrong with the Panther player getting the stick out of the way.


I always felt that loose/broken sticks, helmets...whatever, sitting on the ice surface should be removed by refs or linesmen at the EARLIEST possible convenience.

Why have an object on the ice that will affect play, after all?


I realize players are allowed to pick up dropped sticks if they are not broken, but still, why should the Florida player leave something in the way that might adversely affect his team's PP?

It just so happens that moving the stick out of the zone puts Det at a further disadvantage, but really, is that the problem of the Florida player?


The Panthers, during that PP, are NOT in the business of helping the Red Wings....guy just cleared the area of debris....sucks for Detroit, but it is what it is.

Goalie needs to freeze the puck or a Det player needs to clear the zone so the Red Wing player can get his stick, or get a new one from the bench.


Am I wrong in thinking this way?

Should the Panther player have left the stick where it was?

Is there a rule that says he should have?


Makes no sense to me if there is....and like I said, the refs did not give the Cats a penalty, so apparently, it wasn't against the rules...but did the Florida player break some unwritten rule.....go against some etiquette I am not aware of?

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TFG, I have seen a penalty for something like that in the past. in the case that I remember a defensive player lost his stick near the slot on a PK, and continued to play defense. As play went towards a corner, he went to retrieve the stick but an offense player pushed the stick towards the other boards to get it out of the area. He was given a penalty because he moved the stick away from the player trying to retrieve it.

I think there is a gray area on this, if he moves it out of the way, that is probably okay, if he moves it excessively out of the area then it may not. Here is a reference from a Kerry Fraser piece:


Rule 56.2 - A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who knocks or shoots any abandoned or broken stick or illegal puck or other debris towards an opposing puck carrier in a manner that could cause him to be distracted. Also from 56.2, a minor penalty shall be assessed on a player who deliberately prevents a player who has dropped his stick or any other piece of equipment from regaining possession of it. This is also supported in 53.2 - When moving a stick that is not broken, no penalty shall be assessed as long as it does not interfere with the play and the player who lost said stick is not attempting to retrieve it, otherwise an interference penalty must be assessed.

I think it is a matter if the player is trying to retrieve it.

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Well, in the case of the Panther player, he simply moved the stick from inside the offensive zone to the neutral zone...at the time, the Detroit player was NOT in the process of retrieving it......hence probably why there was no penalty.....but it CERTAINLY didn't help Detroit because even if the Red Wing player wanted to, he would now have to leave the zone to get it.


So, from what you are saying, if the Red Wing player were trying to get his stick back and the Florida player THEN pushed it out of the zone as he attempted to do so, THAT would be a penalty?


Heh...well, that wasn't the case here.

Guess you could say the Florida player was smart to do what he did while his team was still on the PP AND before the Detroit player attempted a retrieval.

Still though, it didn't stop the Red Wing bench from screaming 'Bloody Murder'!  ;)

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