Kevin Bieksa and Wayne Simmonds dropped the gloves just 95 seconds into last night’s 4-3 Ducks shootout win over the Flyers, and Bieksa immediately yanked his opponent’s jersey over his head, to the delight of the crowd and to grins from Simmonds and the officials.
That’s not supposed to happen. NHL players wear something called a fight strap, which binds the back of the jersey to the pants, preventing the jersey from being pulled off. (Losing a jersey is an advantage in a fight, as it gives the shirtless player’s opponent nothing to grab on to. Sabres enforcer Rob Ray was notorious for losing his gear in a fight, occasionally taking it off himself before clinching.) Any player who engaged in a fight without wearing a fight strap is subject to an automatic game misconduct.
Simmonds wasn’t ejected, though; at the one-minute mark of the video above, you can see he did have his fight strap properly attached. It just broke, which happens on occasion.