AHL team to pay Rob Gronkowski’s fine if he participates in pregame ‘puck spike’
|11.21.11 at 11:08 am ET|
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski‘s excitement quickly turned to dismay following a third-quarter touchdown in last week’s 37-16 win over the Jets. Gronkowski spiked the ball in front of a Jets defender after a 5-yard touchdown reception gave the Patriots a 23-9 lead and was immediately penalized by the referees for his celebration. On Friday, the NFL announced it would fine Gronkowski $7,500 for the celebration.
The wallet hit sparked a reaction from more than just Gronkowski himself. On Saturday, the AHL’s Worcester Sharks announced they would reimburse Gronkowski for the fine if he agreed to participate in a ceremonial “puck spike” before the Sharks’ Feb. 24 game against the Providence Bruins at the DCU Center in Worcester.
“The Sharks would be more than happy to reimburse Gronkowski to spike the puck before a Worcester Sharks game,” Sharks president Michael A. Mudd said in a statement. ‘Sharks fans are Patriots fans and I know that they would enjoy watching Gronkowski show us how to properly spike a puck at center ice and sign some autographs. I hope Rob takes us up on the offer.”
The Sharks consider the P-Bruins their biggest rivals and said having Gronkowski at that game would be fitting considering his spike came in a game against the rival Jets. It is not just Worcester fans who might appreciate having a Patriots player at the game. The Sharks roster boasts four New England natives, all of whom are from Massachusetts: Ben Ferriero, John McCarthy, Brian O’Hanley and Sean Sullivan.