The National Hockey League doesn't immediately stop players from throwing a couple of punches on the ice. Same goes for the Federal Hockey League, a professional league in the Northeastern United States.
But in the FHL, officials apparently draw the line at hugs and beer.
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At the tail end of a season-ending game Friday, players Matt Puntureri of the Danville Dashers and Jesse Felten of the Dayton Demonz appeared to be spoiling for a fight. Both players dropped their gloves, raised their fists and circled one another on the ice.
Seconds later, the overtures of violence stopped. Instead of trading punches, the two came together and hugged it out. Puntureri then reached into his jersey, retrieved a hidden a beer, and -- after cracking it and toasting the crowd -- skated arm in arm with Felten around the rink.
While the move drew some cheers from the crowd, league officials were less than amused and suspended both players after the game.
A brief statement on the Dashers' Facebook page explaining the incident is "an internal matter" has drawn heated discussion among fans of the team.
"Heaven forbid that hockey be fun," reads one comment on the Facebook page. "This team needs to untwist its knickers."
Another fan responds, "Hockey can and is fun ... but these guys are supposed to be pros and are getting paid to play. Hockey is still a sport and there is a fine line that had been crossed."
FHL Commissioner Don Kirnan told the National Post the problem wasn't the hugging.
“I mean, if they wanted to hug and kiss each other on the ice, that’s fine,” Kirnan said. “That wouldn’t have bothered us. But you can’t bring a beer on the ice.”
Deadspin argues the players' timing negates any argument the hooligans had manipulated the game, as they waited until the end of the third period to pull the stunt -- plus the Demonz were up 4-0 at the time.