Refs under fire from NHL stars, parents

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You’d think ex-NHLer Eric Lindros would have a thicker skin by now. Yet after a career full of biting mockery, including thrown diapers and soothers, the former Philadelphia Flyer has a low threshold for abuse.

The retired star has filed a $250,000 defamation suit against a former referee based on a pretty unflattering anecdote shared in a 2014 Huffington Post article. Last summer, Paul Stewart published an article titled Hecklers, Hooligans and the Striped-Shirted Maitre D, relating various stories of referee abuse and altercations from his long career.

In the article, he said Lindros swore at him during a game as he tried to make some small talk prior to a faceoff, then destroyed a bunch of posters Stewart had asked him to autograph for a charity auction.

Lindros says the story is false and defamatory, so he’s suing to protect his charitable reputation and block further publication of the story.

Neither Stewart nor Huffington Post have responded publicly.

Of course, refs are certainly used to abuse. From players, from fans, and increasingly from parents.

Hockey moms and dads are frequent offenders when it comes to heckling and threatening the zebras. The latest comes out of Penticton, B.C., where police are recommending charges against an irate dad who allegedly threatened a ref after his son’s junior hockey game.

The 52-year-old father allegedly confronted the ref after a game and had to be physically restrained while yelling threats. He also apparently punched the ref’s car as he drove away.

Calm down dad, it’s just a game.

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