From time to time (okay, regularly), we've all yelled an obscenity towards an official or even threatened a ref with a potential beat down, but while there have been some occasions where the zebras have been attacked, what Ladislav Scurko takes things to a different level.
The Philadelphia Flyers sixth-round pick in 2004 has been charged with murder after being accused of stabbing referee Marek Liptag 14 times back in January 2008 over a monetary dispute. Liptag's remains weren't found until this past December in Slovakian forest.
Scurko played for Spisska Nova Ves, his home city team as well as the Western Hockey League's Seattle Thunderbirds. He began playing professionally in 2007 with HC Kosice of the Slovakian Extraliga where he won the league title this past season. Scurko also played for Slovakia at two U20 World Championships and two U18 World Championships.
The former Flyers prospect faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted and would be released when he turns 43 at the latest, or when Chris Chelios finally retires from the NHL.
Over on Hammer Rules, "Dave Schultz" is stunned and saddened over the former player with the Tri-City Americans:
I'm still in disbelief. Scurko was a super nice kid whenever I talked to him on the concourse, my God, I have my picture with him, it was one of my favorites cuz I remember he didn't just wimpishly put his arm around me and smile for camera, he was into it, big ol' bear hug, nice as can be. Just in shock. seriously.
With the wave of complaints filing in nightly during the playoffs in mind, Travis from Broad Street Hockey might have put it best: "Imagine if this guy encountered NHL officiating..."
Thanks to The 700 Level for the tip. Unofficial moratorium on "kill the ref" chants begins now.