I thought I have seen it all at a hockey rink from my time playing, officiating, and as member of the media. I’ve seen fans hit by pucks (before nets behind the net became standard), intoxicated fans fight, and players throwing promotional gear into the crowd. But something happened tonight that I had never seen before in Pittsburgh that has disgusted many hockey fans and takes humanity to levels never seen before.
The Pens were playing host to the Sabres and Dan Bylsma was making his first return to Pittsburgh, where he led the Pens to a Stanley Cup title in 2009 and a final appearance the year before.
Bylsma saw a young fan decked out in black and yellow behind the Sabres bench. He tossed a puck over the glass to the bright eyed fellow and in a split second his chance of getting an official NHL game puck shattered by a jackass that came out of nowhere and shatched the puck as seen in the video below provided by Twitter user Skyler Eckenrode:
— Skyler Eckenrode (@Eckenrode11) October 30, 2015
Now you have a fully-grown man who has the discretionary income to purchase seats behind the bench. Let’s presume he has the ability to buy as many pucks as he want from the arena gift shop. To take a puck from a little kid who will probably sleep next to it and never let it out of his sight for a long time? That’s down right scummy. Not only did he process the thought of “Hey Dan’s about to toss a puck to a kid, let me snatch it”, but he actually went through with it! And he came from two seats away from the aisle, diving over another fan to get it. I could only defend the guy if he was trying to help the kid not fumble it and give it to him. I wish the fans around him gave him an earful for what he did. But as with every good story, it has a happy ending. The Penguins saw what happened and even tweeted about it:
For everyone tweeting us about the little kid who just got the puck snatched away, we’re on it – don’t you worry. — Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 30, 2015
And not only give him one puck, but two.
You deserve it, little man! pic.twitter.com/vSVPEPtWpL
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 30, 2015