Brandon Manning skates around debris on the ice during Game Three (Photo: Elsa)
Wristbands have now taken their place among snowballs and batteries in the infamy of Philadelphia sports. During Monday night’s in Game Three of the first round against the Washington Capitals, Flyers fans melted down, taking off the light-up contraptions given to them before the game and hurling them onto the ice after their team took 35 penalty minutes on one play. The Flyers received another two PIMs later in the game because fans would not stop throwing their LED bracelets, despite an admonishment from public address announcer Lou Nolan on a night with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in attendance.
Sarena Snider, the daughter of Flyers founder and chairman Ed Snider who died last week at 83, tweeted that her dad “would’ve called the wristband throwers a ‘disgrace.’”
It was curious, then, that pallets of wristbands labeled “Game 2” appeared on the event floor of Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, the day before the Flyers are set to play their second home game of the series.
Game 2 wristbands?????????????? pic.twitter.com/y8dccCBQBL
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) April 19, 2016
However, a Flyers spokesman said in an email that he did not know of any plans to use them.
“Fans have the right to voice their displeasure vocally or by not watching or attending games, but when displeasure is expressed in a way that embarrasses or endangers others, it cannot be condoned or tolerated,” the Flyers said in a statement Tuesday.
The team estimated just 100 wristbands were thrown on the ice out of nearly 20,000 given out to fans. Beer and hot dogs could also be seen falling from the stands while fights broke out in the concourse after the game.
“I felt bad,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said after Tuesday’s practice. “It was a tribute to Mr. Snider. Our game, I’m proud about our game, and it wasn’t on good display last night. That was probably my biggest frustration. We’re still playing hockey. I thought it was just a little bit uncalled for. It got dangerous for not only our players but also for the Flyer players. You look at those bracelets, they’re white, the ice is white. All you need is Claude Giroux to step on one and snap his leg in half or one of our guys.”
The follow-up question to Trotz was one that shouldn’t even have to be asked in the NHL: would you fear for your safety if you win the series in Game Four?
“I think with the organization that they’ll have a clear message to everybody,” he said.
The #NYR will be distributing light-up bracelets to fans at Madison Square Garden tonight.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 19, 2016
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