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Similar to a game misconduct in severity, gross misconduct penalties have been eliminated from the NHL rulebook. It was imposed for an action of extreme unsportsmanlike conduct, such as abuse of officials or spectators, and could be assessed to any team official in addition to a player. Infractions which garnered a gross misconduct now earn a game misconduct. The penalty had last been assessed in 2006 on Atlanta Thrashers coach Bob Hartley due to post-game comments made regarding referee Mick McGeough's blown call during a game versus Edmonton. The Phoenix Coyotes' Shane Doan was the last player to be given a gross misconduct penalty in 2005 for alleged ethnic slurs directed at French-Canadian referees (later investigated and subsequently cleared by the NHL).

However, this penalty is still in effect in Canadian hockey. "A Gross Misconduct penalty shall be assessed [to] any player or team official who conducts herself in such a manner as to make a travesty of the game."[1]

  • This penalty can be assessed for actions which include the consumption of alcohol prior or during the game.
  • Where a player or team official becomes involved in a fight with a team official or spectator.
  • Any player or team official who sprays water on or at an official
  • Any player or team official who engages in verbal taunts based on discriminatory grounds (race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation).


  1. Rule 4.7 (b) 2012-2014 Hockey Canada Rule Book