Jim Playfair’s On-Ice Outburst One for the Record Books


Did you catch the Jim Playfair video on NESN.com’s Daily Blend and NESN’s SportsDesk the other night?

Wow. Really, just … wow.

I guess that’s one way for an AHL coach to become better known around the country. Forget the breaking of the hockey sticks, that ripping off of his suit coat was reminiscent of WrestleMania.

It does, of course, make you think about all the great blowups you’ve seen. The minor league baseball manager building a sand castle with the dirt around home plate comes to mind. Or, more recently, the baseball game in the Dominican Republic where the batter went after the pitcher — still holding and swinging his bat — and chased him around the entire outfield.

Those two stand out in my mind. But, you have to admit, this Playfair one definitely goes down as one of the greatest blowups ever.

And the guy’s last name only adds to it. Playfair. Some irony there, no?

Of course, the Abbotsford Heat head coach flew into tantrum mode because he didn’t think the game was being officiated fairly. The idea of his player, J.D. Watt, being handed a game misconduct after what the coach believed to be incidental contact with the opposing goaltender sent him flying off the handle. Whether Playfair was right or wrong, he remained stuck in the deep end for a solid minute. And for that matter, are hockey sticks really that easy to break? That’s a level of rage not witnessed very often — which is probably a good thing.

Funny as it may be — and I’ll be the first to admit that I laugh every time I see it — there is a serious side to the onslaught of rage.

Even Playfair had to admit it. While amusing, his tantrum did stir up some negative reaction.

“I understand the parents’ perception of it,” he told the Calgary Herald. “It’s not cool. If I were in the building with my two little children, I would not want to see that.”

Hopefully, parents were able to use it as an example of what not to do. Playfair was punished. The league handed down an unspecified fine, so maybe that helps explain why throwing a temper tantrum isn’t the way to go. Still, though he understood why parents were upset, Playfair also said his own kids liked it. Kind of a mixed message there.

Let’s just hope for every Jim Playfair, every minor league manager gone crazy, or every incensed athlete, someone stresses more than just the entertainment value of watching the anger unfold.

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