Here is the play in question, and, again, I think it's pretty impressive considering that it was flipped to the perfect height.
Count me in as one of those who smiled at Crosby's talent, but it's time to play the role of stick-in-the-mud because the NHL Rule Book strictly forbids this kind of assist.
Rule 10.3 in said rule book reads as follows,
A player who has lost or broken his stick may receive a replacement stick by having one handed to him from his own players' bench; by having one handed to him by a teammate on the ice; or, by picking up his own unbroken stick or that of a teammate's from the ice.In other words, Crosby should have been watching from the sin bin for his assist as opposed to heading back to the bench and laughing about his stick work. Referees Frederick L'Ecuyer and Chris Rooney clearly missed this infraction, but it gives me an opportunity to inform you, readers, that this is not allowed under any means.
A player will be penalized if he throws, tosses, slides or shoots a stick to a teammate on the ice, or if he picks up and plays with an opponent's stick. A player may not participate in the play using a goalkeeper's stick. A minor penalty shall be imposed for an infraction of this rule.
Some may ask why, and the bets reason I can give is safety. Players are watching the puck, looking for teammates, looking for open spaces on the ice, and trying to avoid opposition bodies, so a flying stick doesn't rank high in terms of flying obstacles to avoid. If a player were hit with that stick, there's a chance for serious injury if one were to be hit in the face. This is the entire reason why the rule is there: player safety.
While I think that Crosby's stick-pass to Hornqvist was pretty slick, it's not to be repeated, folks. It's a penalty, so be mindful when you see a teammate's stick on the ice that that player, and only that player, can retrieve that stick.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!