Three Toronto Maple Leafs fans have been slapped with a year-long ban from the Air Canada Centre after throwing their jerseys onto the ice in disgust on Monday night during the 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Besides being banned from the ACC, the three men were charged with engaging in a prohibited activity – a non-criminal provincial offence with a $125 fine.
Each of them was ejected from the game, which marked Toronto's fifth consecutive loss and the 13th loss in the past 16 games.
The outcome is the equivalent of a parking ticket.
In November, Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment had warned that it would ban spectators for any jersey-tossing during a game and press to have them charged with trespassing and public mischief, for which they could face probation or even jail time.
But Toronto Police Constable Victor Kwong said, "Let's be honest here. It was throwing a jersey and unless you're like a repeat offender and have other charges before, you're not going to get jail time."
He added that the officers used discretion with the three separate cases and that names would not be released as they were not charged with any criminal offence.
Contrary to other media reports, Kwong said the three were not charged with trespassing, but that "they were trespassed from the premises – which is a legal way to say they were taken away from the property."
On Twitter, the Toronto Police used the hashtag #JerseyGate to respond to fans complaining about law enforcement being involved.
"Car interferes w/ traffic, complaints why cops aren't there. Fans interfere w/ National game/broadcast, complaints why cops bother…" Kwong wrote on behalf of the police.
He said that any interruption of a game is "expensive" and that "the National Hockey League has imposed that any interruption during play by mischief must be investigated."
Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment has not commented on the charges.