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Sunday 17 December 2017

Hockey coach won't take stick over tantrum

Abbotsford Heat coach Jim Playfair says, while he's not proud of the stick-breaking tantrum that got him fined by the American Hockey League, he won't apologise for it.

"It isn't my proudest moment for sure," he said Monday. "It's not to the point where it's embarrassing."

The amount of the fine was undisclosed. Playfair, a former NHL player and coach of the Calgary Flames, was upset after one of his players was given a five-minute penalty and game misconduct on Saturday by referee Jamie Koharski.

The coach tore off his suit jacket, stood on the bench and smashed two hockey sticks over the boards, throwing the pieces on the ice.

"It is what it is," Playfair said on Monday after the Heat practised. "I'm not going to apologise for it. It's part of the emotion level you have to have to get to be a professional person. That's what happened."

The 45-year-old Playfair said his own children have shown him the video "20 or 30 times".

"I can't take it back. I can have you check my history and it's just not something I do consistently. It's something that happened in the heat of the moment."

Playfair regrets that his actions send the wrong message to children watching hockey.

"I have kids in minor hockey myself," he said. "I understand a parent's perception of it.

"It's not cool. I do apologise to the kids and parents. It's not right."

After the game, Playfair called the owner of the Heat, the president of the Flames and the president of the AHL to explain his actions.

"I expressed to those people how I feel," he said. "It's not the proper action of any type of coach.

"Let's be serious. It's not what you are supposed to do when you are a professional person in a market where we are trying to educate people and kids on how to play. It's not the right thing to do."

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