Being an NHL referee can be tough, but being a linesman is that much tougher. That’s because it’s the linesmen who are tasked with breaking up all the fights and scrums, while the refs look on from the outskirts to determine whether any penalties need to be handed out.
This is why you need to be a pretty big dude in order to be an NHL linesman — because getting in between a couple of angry combatants can be a dangerous job. Just ask NHL linesman CJ Murray, who took a haymaker to the face from Minnesota Wild winger Brandon Baddock, while he was trying to break a fight between him and the Dallas Stars’ Jerad Rosburg.
Baddock, of course, wasn’t trying to hit Murray in the face, but he did anyway. And I doubt that made it hurt any less.
Baddock was eventually ejected from the game, however, it was not for his punch to the linesman’s face. Rather, he was given a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct for a dirty hit on the Stars’ Roope Hintz that ignited this melee.
We’ll see if the NHL reviews the incident and decided to punish Baddock for his errant punch as well.