As expected, the NHL decided to fine Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference $2,500 for giving the Bell Centre crowd the finger after he scored a second period goal last night. This ruling falls under Rule 75.5 (ii), which calls for a maximum fine of $2,500 for an obscene on-ice gesture.
Ference won’t face a suspension, however, making his obscene gesture far less damaging than James Wisniewsk’s two-game suspension for a lewd gesture toward Sean Avery.
Believe it or not, Ference claims that he did it on accident, according to Joe Haggerty. Using the kind of excuse you would expect to hear from a grade school student who got caught flipping the bird, Ference said his finger got stuck in his hockey glove.
Seriously, he really committed to that story.
“It looks awful; I just saw it,” said Ference follwing the game. “I can assure you that’s not part of my repertoire. I think my glove got caught up. I can assure you that’s not part of who I am or what I ever have been. It looks awful. I admit it and I completely apologize to how it looks. I was putting my fist in the air. I’m sorry. It does look awful. I don’t know what else to say.”
Ference was pressed several times about the middle-finger gesture, but never wavered from the main story he’s telling the commissioner’s office.
“Honestly, I have no idea [how it happened],” he said. “It looks really bad. All I can do is tell you the truth, and [my finger getting stuck in my glove is] the truth.
Well, OK then. Somehow the league didn’t buy his story, but there really isn’t much harm done being that he won’t miss a game. Ference made $2,250,000 this season (players aren’t paid during the playoffs), so he should be able to recover at the bank unless his financial planning is as haphazard as his excuses.