Hug-and-a-beer hockey fighters get indefinite suspensions
What was supposed to be a cute send-off has turned into a bit of a mess after the FHL decided to suspend two players who faked a fight on the ice and then hugged and opened a beer.
Oops. Maybe that hug-and-a-beer stunt pulled off in the Federal Hockey League last week wasn't such a great idea after all.
It's a shame, but we've likely seen the last of hockey fights that conclude with a beer and a toast to the crowd.
Matt Puntureri of the Danville Dashers and Jesse Felten of the Dayton Demonz appeared to be destined for a standard scrap when they dropped the gloves during a game on March 28. But instead of throwing punches, the two FHL players came together for a hug before Puntureri pulled a can of Coors Light from his shorts and began to chug. The two then skated around the ice together and toasted to the fans.
Although no player received any sort of penalty immediately after the incident, the league is coming down hard on the two for the joke they orchestrated to celebrate the end of the season.
"Obviously the biggest problem was bringing alcohol on the ice," FHL commissioner Don Kirnan told Puck Daddy. "If they would have just hugged each other at the end of the season ... bringing the beer on the ice is what we're upset about."
Both players have been suspended indefinitely, with Felton forced to miss the league's playoffs, while Puntureri told Sports Illustrated he's heard he could be handed a lifetime ban from the league.
"I wouldn't take back what happened, even if it meant not getting suspended, I guess," Felten told SI. "Punts has been a real good friend of mine, and it's kind of upsetting to see what happened. But at the same time, it was all in good fun. It wasn't meant to piss the league off or make them look bad, even though they maybe took it that way."
"We've gotten a lot of attention over it, which has kind of been cool," he added. "It blew up more than we expected or planned for it to."