Being a hockey coach can be a frustrating vocation. You plot, scheme and draw up game plans, only to have your players, the other team or the officials mess everything up. And unlike players, you can’t just take out your frustration on the opposing team’s face. So you pace behind the bench. You chew your gum vigorously. Maybe loosen your tie. Not a lot of venting options available within the confines of the accepted rulebook.
Thankfully, “rules” have rarely held back our more emotional bench bosses from expressing themselves and their disappointment out in the open for all to see. There’s always been the standard excessive swearing, point-and-yell response when a coach doesn’t like a ref’s call. Some innovative coaches take it a step further to smashing sticks or perhaps throwing an entire hockey bench on the ice. We’re talking primo freak outs. Very emo.
But a Washington junior hockey coach has definitely taken things up a notch by not only donning sunglasses and using a stick as a cane (get it, HE’S BLIND?!) but actually strolling out onto the ice and wandering around a bit. He broke the final barrier. He actually got on the ice. Before this, coaches would stand on the boards or execute a dangerously precarious lean over, but never, NEVER get on the ice.
Chris Clark, an assistant for the North American Hockey League’s Wenatchee Wild, was so fed up with the referees during a game against the Kenai River Brown Bears that he has elevated the childish coach spazz-out to new, raging heights. Perhaps this will inspire a whole generation of aspiring coaches to up their protest game to include props and coordinated routines. Coaches could have specific music played after bad calls and show off particularly aggressive dance moves to get their point across to the officials. From there, who knows? Can gorilla suits and clown wigs be far behind?
Well, Clark was quickly ejected from the game and Wenatchee lost. So, maybe not a new trend then?