Buzzing The Net - Junior Hockey

London Knights-loving Zamboni driver upsets fans, politicians in St. CatharinesThis might be the first known case of a Zamboni driver heel turn in junior hockey.

You don't tug on Superman's cap, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off the ol' Lone Ranger and you don't wear a London Knights-style jersey while resurfacing the ice in front of 3,145 Niagara IceDogs fans with bitter memories of last season's OHL final. On the other hand, in the name of sheer chutzpah, free expression and waving a cape in front of bull, there's a lot to like about the story of a London Knights-loving Zamboni driver wore " the sweater of a local minor hockey team" with the same emblem as the Knights while doing the ice during the first intermission of a game on Feb. 17.

It showed a lot of brass, give him that much.

From Doug Herod:

A St. Catharines resident expressed his displeasure in an e-mail to Mayor Brian McMullan and the rest of city council on Feb. 18, the day after the game

“There needs to be consequences to the employees who act out in ways that not only embarrass our local teams, but disrespect our city and the job the rest of the hard-working staff do,” wrote the e-mailer.

Deputy Mayor Peter Secord was quick to respond, informing the resident by e-mail that he was at the game and “confronted” the employee prior to the second intermission.

Recreation and community services director Rick Lane was then contacted by phone, and the employee was instructed to ditch the jersey. (St. Catharines Standard)

Herod goes on to explain that IceDogs co-owner Bill Burke (who was described as being "furious" with the arena staffer) told Peter Secord about it.

Burke, as you would recall, is the owner who was espied wearing a Barrie Colts jersey during the 2010 playoffs. (Weeks later, Burke signed coach-GM Marty Williamson away from Barrie to take over Niagara.) In Burke's defence, his son Billy Burke is a Colts alumnus, he did so after the IceDogs season ended and the game was in Barrie. Plus he's an owner.

Secord, clearly born to be politics, said he didn't see what Herod called "the infamous Zamboni ride." but had it brought to his attention.

So, he decided to check things out before the second intermission. Sure enough, the driver had the Knights’ jersey on again.

Secord said he “respectfully asked” him to remove it to comply with the city’s dress policy. The employee was “reluctant” to do so. At that point, Secord decided to call Lane.

Secord said he “respectfully asked” him to remove it to comply with the city’s dress policy. The employee was “reluctant” to do so. At that point, Secord decided to call Lane. (St. Catharines Standard)

London Knights-loving Zamboni driver upsets fans, politicians in St. CatharinesIt's not like he was wearing Sir Scores A Lot's mascot head. That would obscure his vision and possibly cause him to a miss a spot on the ice.

Yes yes, there are rules, regulations and policies that exist so someone can put on a suit and have a job to go to in the morning. Obviously, the Zamboni driver should not have been showing any team's colours.

But the atmosphere in an OHL arena is always more charged when London comes to town than it is for anyone else. A man who loves being around the rink so much that he made it a career isn't going to be immune to that reality; it's probably less likely to be the case. It's funny, but not a firing offence.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

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