This entry is a composite in that it comes from a couple of different sources. Winging It in Motown’s Kyle McIlmurray posted a .gif of Wings prospect and Kitchener Rangers forward Givani Smith doing something very stupid during a fight–pushing a linesman…
— @StingUpdates (@StingUpdates) March 7, 2018
I pulled up the box score of the Rangers’ 5-2 win over Sarnia, and somewhat ironically, Smith scored a goal in the game, and got 2-and-5 for roughing and fighting, with no penalty given for abuse of officials…
– One minus: Expect Givani Smith to get a suspension for shoving linesman Dustin McCrank in the last minute of the second period. Things that may help Smith’s case – he didn’t try to hurt McCrank, the linesman was getting in the middle of a fight and may have slipped a bit on the play. But contact is contact and, under the rules, it carries a minimum 10-game suspension.
And after the game, Rangers coach Jay McKee spoke with Brown about the incident–and this is where things get complicated:
Kitchener winger Givani Smith could be facing a suspension for abuse of an official after a second period altercation with linesman Dustin McCrank.
Smith and Sarnia rearguard Kelton Hatcher were involved in a skirmish in front of the Rangers’ bench with 29 seconds remaining in the frame when McCrank tried to break it up. Smith didn’t hit McCrank but made contact when he shook the official aside to get at Hatcher.
“I’ll leave that to the league,” said McKee, of his thoughts on any potential punishment. “No abuse of an official penalty was called on the play.”
And that may help Smith’s case though OHL rules state that an automatic suspension of 10 games minimum is applied to “any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner.”
The entire sequence involving Smith was confusing to the Sting bench. Smith was called for cross checking and fighting and nothing for the contact with McCrank while Hatcher was burned for instigating, fighting and received a 10-minute misconduct.
“We were mad on the initial call,” said Sarnia coach Derian Hatcher. “A 16 year old is on his knees and he gets cross checked in the face. We watched it on tape and that’s what happened. Smith throws the linesman out of the way and we get an instigator.”
So Smith is probably going to get suspended, but not for the reason that the opposing team wants it, and we will wait and see whether it’s a 10-game suspension–which would be very bad given that the Rangers have only 5 more regular-season games to play, and given that Smith was one of the Rangers’ acquisitions as the team attempted to load up for an OHL title run.