In the NHL, cross-checking is a penalty. Players who cross-check an opponent almost always earn two minutes in the penalty box, but what about ones who cross-check an official? Just before the opening puck drop of a game between the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks on Sunday night, Vancouver’s Jannik Hansen shoved an official and somehow got away with it.
Ryane Clowe and Alex Burrows were each given minor penalties before the game began, as a scrum broke out when Burrows leaned in and bumped heads with San Jose center Logan Couture. Hansen skated in when things got chippy, but for whatever reason he decided to cross-check the ref before even touching a Sharks player.
The play was extremely bizarre. Considering the game had yet to start, there’s no reason Hansen should have been angry with any of the referees. To make matters even stranger, the NHL is not planning to discipline Hansen.