Colorado Eagles assistant coach suspended for stripping during game

Friday, February 25, 2011

WASHINGTON - An assistant coach for the Colorado Eagles professional hockey team has been suspended for the rest of the season after he stripped to express his anger at the referees.

A video posted on YouTube shows a referee pushing an Eagles player backward toward the bench as fighting continued on the ice.

And after about 50 seconds of pandemonium, the Eagles’ assistant coach, Greg Pankewicz, took off his jacket and threw it onto the ice, apparently in anger at the ref.

“The automatic suspension of one game and a fine came from throwing items onto the ice,” CBS News quoted Central Hockey League Director of Operations Bob Huffan as saying.

Huffan said Pankewicz earned a harsher 14-game penalty as the angry stripping continued. Pankewicz threw his shoes and eventually his shirt. He continued the tirade in just pants and socks.

“Many people, I’m sure, have seen the video and have seen the lengths that it went to on top of that, which is what was taken into account during the deliberation process of what further penalties should be given to Mr. Pankewicz,” Huffan said.

Pankewicz played professional hockey for 18 years, including six seasons with the Eagles, before hanging up his skates to coach.

“The Central Hockey League will not tolerate such behaviour and found Mr. Pankewicz’s conduct to be completely unacceptable to our member clubs, the officiating staff and our fans,” the league commissioner said in a statement.

“He’s been suspended for the remainder of the regular season. What that equates to for the Eagles is they have 14 games remaining in the regular season. He’s more than able to coach in the playoffs,” Huffan stated. (ANI)

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