Devils fans ruin rats tradition
TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
|A girl removes rubber rats from the ice following the Panthers' win against the Devils in Game 5 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., April 21, 2012. (RHONA WISE/Reuters)
NEWARK - Rats have been banned at the BankAtlantic Center, home of the Florida Panthers.
At least, the sale of the rubber rodents will end, and apparently it's the fault of New Jersey Devils fans.
Panthers president Michael Yormark (@PanthersYormark) tweeted Monday that "Panthers will not sell rats at pantherland. This is a result of visiting fans throwing rats on the ice during the game."
Yormark also tweeted: "Rumor has it that cats fans are bringing rats to new jersey."
Panthers coach Kevin Dineen also said it was Devils fans who were doing the rat throwing.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman got in the ear of the Panthers, demanding they deal with the rat problem.
Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said Saturday after Game 5 that the rats raining down on to the ice during the game at the BankAtlantic Center was "a pain."
The rubber rats, which were being sold at the arena for $5 each, hit the ice after each Panthers goal in a 3-0 win in Game 5. But a few were tossed by fans during the play, and the Panthers were warned they could be assessed a delay-of-game penalty.
The tradition started at Panthers home games in 1995-96 and picked up steam when they went to the Cup final that season.
The Panthers and Devils play Game 6 on Tuesday in New Jersey.