There are a few legal lines hockey players can't cross in the otherwise Thunderdome-esque environment of a rink. One of them is making contact with an official, which Nikolai Bushuev of the KHL's Spartak discovered this week, much to his chagrin — and our incredulity.
Seriously, check out the "contact" from their game against Neftekhimik on Sunday that earned Bushuev a suspension. The incident happens to the right of the goaltender; the best view of it is around 31 seconds in, at the right of your video player.
For that poke of the stick, Bushuev was given 25 minutes and a match penalty at 15:48 of the second period. Along with that match penalty comes an automatic two-game suspension. Sparak, which won the game 2-1, appealed to the KHL, but the suspension was upheld.
Bushuev said in a news conference that he "barely touched" the official and was simply trying to get his attention; nevertheless, he said, along with the KHL's suspension, Spartak fined him a "sensible" amount.
His coach, Fedor Kanareykin, told SovSport that Bushuev didn't hit the official but there was contact, so the team agreed with the KHL's verdict.
It's crazy to think that minimal contact would draw a suspension — hell, we've seen more abuse of officials in the middle of a fight with no recourse. But hockey's hands-off policy with refs apparently extends across the globe.
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