March 4, 2013
Brian McGrattan misconduct aimed to cool tensions

Calgary Flames Brian McGrattan salutes the crowd after a fight with Tom Sestito of the Vancouver Canucks during NHL hockey in Calgary, Alberta, Sunday March 3, 2013. (Al Charest/QMI Agency)

Don’t blame the NHL for the 10-minute misconduct handed to Calgary Flames enforcer Brian McGrattan following his post-fight salute Sunday night.


Blame Arron Asham.

The NHL’s Director of Officiating, Terry Gergson, said Monday the misconduct isn’t part of a new NFL-type rule aimed at curbing taunting. It was simply a judgment call by the officials, who were worried the showboating could escalate things later in the night.

After all, it certainly riled up the fans.

“I spoke with both officials, and they felt (it was just) because it was a gesture following a fight and the emotional state of things (was high),” Gregson told the Sun in an e-mail.

“They related back to the Asham incident of a year ago. The actions were different but they felt following a fight that type of thing adds fuel to the fire.”

Sure enough, Tom Sestito — McGrattan’s combatant — wanted another piece of the Flames winger later in the evening but officials intervened.