Plenty of local fans and international hockey fans saw the video clip of Martin St. Louis missing shot-after-shot as the Bolts played "naked shootout" after practice a week ago. Many a fan found it entertaining and funny. Local fans saw it as a clear sign of leadership from St. Louis -- "suffering that indignity on purpose" some mused.
Some fans identified it with the movie Slap Shot, and I don't truly know the history of players playing this game during practice. Never the less, another team decided to participate in a naked shootout with much more of a negative reaction.
The Idaho Junior Steelheads of the Western States Hockey League have been banned from their rink for a week, and players suspensions have been levied after the team was caught participating in the game. Unlike members of the Lightning, Steelhead players were down well past their equipment after missing shot after shot during the competition:
Doug Holloway, Boise’s recreation superintendent, says rink employees told him players would take something off every time they missed a shot.
An adult whose daughter was on another rink saw the 17- to 20-year-old Steelheads skating in their skivvies and complained to a city hotline.
Rink employees who noticed the scantily clad skaters urged them to cover up.
Police are investigating.
There is no word if the Lightning's game of naked shootout, which has had some 80 thousand views on YouTube since it was posted last week, was any part of the inspiration for the game the Junior Steelheads played though one could easily make that suggestion with thanks to the timing.
[Note by jpfdeuce, 10/27/09 8:14 PM EDT ] It would appear that the Lightning were indeed the example that the players were repeating. From the appended AP article on the subject:
But an assistant told him the players were emulating a professional team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, whose members held a similar shootout last week where they discarded pieces of equipment after failing to score.
Internet videos show a Lightning right winger, Martin St. Louis(notes), stripping to his long, dark shorts and shirt; the Junior Steelheads apparently went further, with some disrobing down to their sports briefs. At least one 17-year-old player doffed his underwear completely, to “moon” another player.