A player in the U.K. Elite League went berserk on an opponent Saturday, spearing him and throwing his helmet at him before engaging in a fight. Besides being a wild spectacle, the player’s actions wound up getting him fired by his team.
The days of daily lunacy on professional hockey rinks are gone. But every so often, you’ll still see a player do the indefensible in a retro-minded kind of way (back when it was defensible). And on Saturday night in Edinburgh, Scotland, an Elite Ice Hockey League game saw a vintage meltdown when Joe Grimaldi of the Edinburgh Capitals went berserk on his opponent, spearing him and throwing his helmet at him before a fistfight began. And this time, there were serious repercussions.
Grimaldi, a defenseman who spent time in the AHL and ECHL before heading to the U.K. league last season, apparently thought it was well within his rights to snap on Maxime Langelier-Parent of Nottingham, first jabbing his stick into Parent, then taking off his helmet and using it as a weapon before engaging in a fight:
Here’s another look at Grimaldi losing it, with the “action” picking up shortly after the spear:
Grimaldi was suspended by the league for one game by the league, but his employers went one step further and released him immediately. These types of events that once were relatively commonplace in most pro leagues now stand out like sore thumbs, and when a player loses his job over it, they’re likely to become even rarer.