Two things happened Monday night that have become commonplace on evenings when the Toronto Maple Leafs play.
- Toronto lost, falling 4-1 on home ice to the last-place Carolina Hurricanes, for the Leafs' fifth straight defeat and 13th in the NHL team's last 16 games.
- A few fans were so unhappy that they tossed team jerseys onto the ice, prompting police to remove some spectators from the Air Canada Centre.
A Toronto police tweet says three fans were removed from the property and banned for a year from all the buildings belonging to the Leafs' owner, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.
A police tweet also said the men were ticketed for a provincial offence. Police said their names won't be released.
Another police tweet says "officers used discretion ... and opted for non-criminal charges" against the fans.
#Jerseygate update: To clarify, they were not charged with trespassing. They were trespassed (removed from property) ^vk— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) January 20, 2015
#Jerseygate update: All men, charged w/ Provincial Offence (ticket) for Engage in Prohibited Activity (non-criminal charges)... ^vk— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) January 20, 2015
Clearly frustration is reaching new heights in Leafs Nation, with the team no longer in a playoff spot with about half the NHL season done leading up to all-star game activities this weekend hosted by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Leafs fired coach Randy Carlyle earlier this month, but interim coach Peter Horachek hasn't been able to turn things around.
Team captain Dion Phaneuf said he understands fans are frustrated, but said throwing jerseys onto the ice crosses a line.
"I think it's disrespectful to the organization," he said after Monday night's game.
"I don't think it's a majority of fans [tossing jerseys]. If you look after the game, there's still a majority of fans in their seats cheering for us. It's disappointing to see when a select few do that."
The Leafs return to action Wednesday night against the Senators in Ottawa.