Canadian minor league hockey player arrested for streaking

SCRANTON, Pa. – Canadian Nathan Smith, the captain of the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, has been charged with indecent exposure after a police officer saw him running naked on a downtown street early Sunday.

Smith, a 26-year-old centre from Strathcona, Alta., told the officer he acted on a bet. Penguins forward Ryan Stone, a native of Calgary, was charged with public drunkenness.

Officials said Smith, a former first-round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks who played his junior hockey for the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos, was charged with misdemeanour counts of indecent exposure, open lewdness and disorderly conduct, as well as public drunkenness. He was released on US$10,000 bail.

“I would like to apologize to the people of Northeast Pennsylvania, my teammates, and to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Pittsburgh Penguins organizations,” Smith said in a statement. “I made an embarrassing and regrettable decision this weekend and understand I will face disciplinary action. My conduct was unacceptable and totally out of character – it will not happen again. I promise to do my best to win back your trust and support.”

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The team advanced to the second round of the AHL playoffs on Friday with a Game 5 win over the Hershey Bears. The Penguins will play Philadelphia or Albany in the next round.

The American Hockey League team suspended Smith for its second-round home playoff game Thursday. It was not immediately clear how Stone would be disciplined but the team said he would not be suspended.

Smith has two goals and two assists in five playoff games.

Stone, who has a goal and four assists in the playoffs, was drafted 32nd overall by the Penguins in 2003. The 23-year-old spent his junior career with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL.

Stone’s arrest was his second this season for public drunkenness. He was cited for the same charge in October, pleaded guilty and paid a fine.