Senators coach: Don’t throw burgers on ice, donate to food banks

Senators coach: Don’t throw burgers on ice, donate to food banks

The first thing you see when you log onto the Ottawa Senators’ official site is an image of Andrew Hammond’s “Hamburglar” mask, celebrating the goaltending sensation that’s led the team to a playoff spot. Last week, the Senators gave away 10,000 Hamburglar masks at a game.

It’s understandable fans would want to play their role in this sensation, and they started tossing hamburgers on the ice after goals and at the end of the contest in celebration. It was an organic, wonderful instant tradition for a fan base with too few of them; a sense of identity for a team that could use one.

So, naturally, everyone involved in the burger tossing is now made to feel like a heartless scrooge, shamelessly tossing $2 McDonald’s singles on the ice rather than donating them to a local food bank.

It was a sentiment shared by hockey’s shrillest moralist and by Sportnet’s Nick Kypreos on the radio, where Ottawa Senators coach Dave Cameron heard the call to arms. On Wednesday, at the end of media availability, he echoed the sentiment and called for fans to make donations rather than throw burgers on the ice:

“I heard something on the way in today on the radio. I think there was a comment made on the radio that instead of throwing hamburgers on the ice, you make a donation to a food bank. I thought that was a great idea. Sometimes you appreciate the support and the enthusiasm of your fans too, but sometimes it can be channeled in a better way. And I certainly would back that up.”

We’ll go ahead and assume that Cameron’s sincere here and that this isn’t a preemptive strike against possible delay of game penalties – c’mon, like the thought didn’t cross your mind.

Heeding this clarion call, we’d also like Ottawa fans to consider the following charitable options:

- No longer purchasing concessions at Senators games. It’s all overpriced and you never finish the popcorn anyway, so stop being wasteful and smuggle in some trail mix.

- No longer purchasing game tickets. The average ticket price for a Senators regular-season game is $109.29, according to Team Marketing Report. That’s a lot of soup!

- No longer purchasing extra Senators gear. Look, we know you like Andrew Hammond and all, but that $150 is better left to charity. Wear your old Patrick Lalime jersey with pride.

We kid.

The idea that throwing a hamburger is mutually exclusive from donating to a food bank is as nonsensical as the scenarios we presented above. Ottawa fans can do both. And if the issue is truly being wasteful … it’s a hamburger. It’s not a vial of penicillin.

But the Sens have take a hard line here. The Ottawa Citizen reports that the team will try and remind fans that throwing items during play will not be tolerated:

“We will continue to abide by both our own and the NHL’s policy to work in the best interests of the safety of our fans and the players — which does not permit items being thrown on the ice during play. There will be zero tolerance for any items thrown onto the ice during play,” said the teams director of communications Brian Morris.

“We are treating this seriously enough that we had Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot tape a bilingual message after practice today that will play in tomorrow’s game — the message will support the above asking fans not to toss anything on the ice during the game."

The bottom line, as echoed by many: The Sens should have recognized this trend, purchased a ton of foam hamburger dog toys, charged fans money to buy them, given that money to charity, and then recycled the burgers after they were tossed on the ice for resale.

And then hope that a bunch of devious visiting fans don’t frame you by tossing them during play …