August 25, 2011
There are many ways in the NHL rulebook in which a player can receive a match penalty and be ejected from the game. Any attempt to injure an opponent and you're hitting the showers early.
Turns out that in Finland, match penalties extend beyond the ice. For example, if you're a goalie and your attempt to shoot the puck away from your net in frustration happens to miss the glass and hit a spectator, you too can receive a match penalty.
That situation happened on Sunday during a game between Sweden's Frolunda Indians and Jokerit of Finland as they battled in the preseason European Trophy tournament.
Frolunda netminder and Nashville Predators 2011 second-round pick Magnus Hellberg -- playing in just his second game with the club -- allowed three goals in a five-minute span during a 7-3 loss. After the third goal, Hellberg wasn't happy with himself; he collected the puck and went to fire it off the side glass.
Problem was that the puck cleared the glass and instead hit a girl in the stands, injuring her.
Seeing this happen, Hellberg skated over and tried to offer her his stick. Hellberg told Hockey Expressen:
"I immediately went over there. Her angry boyfriend was standing there screaming at me. I told him it was an accident, the referee came over and I was not really liked after it happened. I got a game misconduct; it was only to skate off. I hope she is fine anyways."
This YouTube video from the game doesn't show Hellberg's shot, but does catch the aftermath and his ejection:
When asked if he's usually this hot-headed, Hellberg responded:
"No, absolutely not. I am a calm guy. The scout from Nashville was at the game and he said: 'Typical that it would happen to you, you are the nicest guy in the world.' It does not reflect my personality."
Stick-tap to Puck Buddy Magnus B. for the translation