Fans and players squawk at the penalty box. It's a fact of hockey life. Sometimes the language crosses whatever line either party seeks to establish in the moment. Sometimes a player will give a little water bottle dousing to a taunting spectator.
So with that established, we're really not trying to make a federal case out of the incident between a few Anaheim Ducks fans and three Columbus Blue Jackets players on Sunday night. But in the interest of fairness, we asked for eyewitness accounts of the incident, and the fans involved reached out; and this was an unusual situation, what with the game being delayed for five minutes until the fans were escorted out of their seats.
Bradley B. Mugar owns Anaheim Jewelry & Coin and is a season ticket holder for the Ducks "since Day 1 in 1993," having paid deposits since before they even knew the team was coming. He said he and his family have never been ejected from a game, and that his wife Susan has been "embarrassed and publicly humiliated."
What went down between the fans and players?
Here's Mugar in an email sent to Puck Daddy and copied to several individuals within the Ducks organization and at the Honda Center:
"I was sitting four seats in and my wife was sitting on the aisle, my son was sitting next to her and his friend next to him. However, my son was sick for the first two periods and resting in the car. He came in the rink just prior to the incident and here is what happened.
"There were two players in the box (Derek Dorsett and Derek MacKenzie) and my son stood up to heckle them. Before he had a chance to, the security guard (Alfred) told him he had to sit down. Ryan (my son) asked, 'What? We can't heckle the players?' The security guard said 'you can say whatever you want, just as long as you're sitting in your seat.' So my son sat down and started to heckle the players who were already having a hissy fit in the box.
"All heckling was clean and no foul language was used on our part. And all the fans were heckling. The player somehow made eye contact with my son who is a big guy and when he stands up I'm sure he looks even bigger
"Jared Boll entered the box and heckling continued by all the fans. Even the lady in front of us was shaking the glass between the penalty box. The game was stopped basically because of Boll and Dorsett going crazy (Derek MacKenzie was minding his own business the whole time.) and the NHL sent Honda Center security to escort my son out of the Rink.
"At this point Dorsett called my son's friend a 'faggot' and told him to meet him outside after the game, and he was going to kick his ass. My son's friend said nothing and is very shy. I went to the back when security took my son back and while they were talking with him about what happened I had to use the restroom so I asked the NHL rep I think are you removing my son, and he said I'm not sure yet. I told him I had to use the restroom and when I got back he was gone and the rep was still standing there. I asked him if I could go back in the game and he said yes go ahead. When I got in there my wife and our friend were gone and all the fans around us said they took your wife and other son (they didn't know he was our guest) too and they didn't even do anything. It's beyond me why they would take them out and say it was OK for me to go in.
"Earlier, security had arrived to remove my son and my wife stood up and blocked my son from leaving because she knew it was bogus. All the fans were furious that security was doing this. Even to the point that they were yelling at security to leave. Other fans close to us told my son not to go because he had done nothing wrong. Eventually my son left with security and as he was leaving Boll yelled to him, 'your mom's a bitch' and squirted his water bottle through the gap in the glass.
"My son's friend left without any confrontation, but my wife was not inclined to leave because she had done nothing wrong. She ended up leaving because the game had become not fun anymore and she did not want to be there anymore. As I came back from the restroom I asked the security guard at the top of the aisle if I could go back down and he said "yes". When I got to my seats my family was gone.
"Basically what happened here was you have some players that are frustrated with their season taking it out on fans. You have NHL officials/ refs that would rather kick out fans instead of getting their professional athletes to calm down, really poorly managed security and Loyal fans/season ticket holders getting kicked out and embarrassed in front of their peers.
"Within 10 minutes of being kicked out my whole family including members that weren't even at the game started getting calls and texts from people that saw the incident. It is embarrassing and it hurts our reputation because all they see is my family getting escorted out by security and police. They don't know the true story."
So there you go. Obviously, some accusations here that are likely to garner the Blue Jackets a bit of criticism, but keep in mind it's one father/husband/Ducks fan's word.
And now hopefully well move on to pressing issues like the trading of Ryan Getzlaf and the firing of Scott Howson …
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