'Attack' on ref wasn't like reported

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:07 AM ET

When and if Jason Bonsignore returns to the Swiss Elite League, he'll be heading straight for the press box.

The former Oiler still has a handful of games left to serve on his 10-game suspension for "attacking" a referee over there.

He admits making contact with a referee, and admits it wasn't the smartest thing to do, but says the incident was blown way out of proportion.

"They had a guy punch a referee in the face a few weeks earlier in that league and they were looking to make a statement," said Bonsignore, who claims he only grabbed the referee by the arm.

"The biggest problem is that there was no video tape. The linesman in his report said I never really did anything wrong, but the referee in his report said I took a swing at him. Meanwhile they were saying in the paper that I had punched the referee and he was bleeding.

"In the end, I guess I was to blame. I lost my cool a bit, but four or five things happened leading up to that."

It started with a misconduct for swearing.

"It's really tough with the language barrier," he said.

"I had said the F-word, but I was asking the referee for his help in talking to his F'ing linesman. He thought I was telling him off.

"I went to the penalty box and as he was going up the ice for the next play and I slammed my stick against the glass.

"He stopped the game and told me he was kicking me out. By that time I was absolutely losing my marbles. I stepped out of the penalty box and he was standing outside the door.

"I grabbed his arm to see if I could talk to him about the situation and I guess he thought I was coming after him or something."


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