There have been a few laughs around the league after the Toronto-Columbus pre-season match on Sunday night. Referee Mark Joannette leveled Blue Jackets forward Jason Chimera with a body check (blatant interference, no penalty called, by the way), leading to a Toronto goal. Here's the YouTube evidence:
This isn't the first time an official has bodychecked a player.
Ivan "Ching" Johnson was a hard hitting defenseman in the National Hockey League from 1926 through 1938. After he retired from the game as a player, he took up officiating at the minor league level.
Old habits must have died hard for Ching Johnson. During one of the games where he was serving as a linesman in the old Eastern Hockey League, he forgot that he was wearing a striped shirt and nailed an onrushing forward with one of his patented heavy bodychecks from his playing days.
When asked what caused him to do it, he calmly replied. "Instinct, I guess. The old habit was too deep within me," Johnson later admitted. "I forgot where I was and what I was doing."
Read the entire "Ching" Johnson biography