By John Rolfe
One of the more amusing ideas for celebrating a spirited player-fan exchange has been nixed in the interests of respect.
You may recall the incident in the video above, when Winnipeg Jets defenseman Adam Pardy had his lid lifted by an overzealous Blackhawks fan after the glass gave way during a tilt at Chicago’s United Center on November 6. A few days later, Dave Wheeler, the host of a morning radio show on Winnipeg’s 92 CITI FM was moved to call for a “Helmet Pardy” where Jets fans would wear hockey headgear to the team’s rematch with the Blackhawks at MTS Center on Nov. 21.
Alas, the Jets have announced that no one but players will be allowed into the building unless they are sporting proper headwear. Stetsons, stovepipes, straw hats, fedoras, pork pies, bowler derbies, propeller beanies, turbans, and humble ball caps are all fine — but no helmets. We’ll let Jets Chairman Mark Chipman explain why:
In retrospect, Pardy’s restraint was indeed admirable, as the breach in the glass could have led to an incident remarkably like the one in 1979 when a Rangers fan helped himself to a Bruin’s stick and received a visit from a contingent of infuriated Boston players including one Mr. Michael Milbury, who found a novel use for the fan’s footwear. In fact, the NHL was inspired by that unfortunate melee to install taller glass around Madison Square Garden’s famed rink in order to keep players and partisans better separated when matters got out of hand.