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Many sports fans will tell you that the National Hockey League has the toughest players in any North American professional sport. I am here to tell you that the NHL also has the toughest referees in any North American professional sport. Kelly Sutherland proved that last night while officiating a game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Carolina Hurricanes.
While watching the play from the corner of the Sabres’ zone, Sutherland was struck by the stick of Buffalo defenseman Mike Weber. If you listen closely (0:01 mark) you can hear him yell “Oh F*ck” before dropping to the ice in pain. The play was eventually blown dead and Sutherland was able to get to his feet, revealing a fresh gash on his forehead.
Just like you would expect from any NHL player, Kelly received some quick repairs from the Sabres’ training staff before heading back onto the ice to finish the game. As for Weber, he would not be assessed a penalty for high-sticking, which begs the following question: Why is it okay to high-stick a ref, but not an opposing player? A high stick is a high stick, isn’t it?
Here is a look at the incident.
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