Nonchalant NHL ref catches flying stick during game

Veteran NHL referee wasn’t fazed when Vladimir’s Sobotka’s stick came flying his way on Saturday. (

Most people would move out of the way if a piece of lumber was flying towards them. NHL referee François St-Laurent isn’t most people, though.

When most see a dangerous situation, he sees an opportunity for greatness.

During Saturday’s clash between the Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center, Vladimir Sobotka’s twig went skyward while attempting to force a turnover and Mr. St-Laurent’s eyes lit up.

That’s quite the nonchalant grab by the 41-year-old. In fact, he was so casual about the whole thing that you’d almost believe that he’s been practicing for this kind of situation.

According to, the veteran official from Greenfield Park, Québec has a combined 716 NHL regular season and playoff games under his belt. It looks like that impressive total comes with the confidence to pull off something like this.

Well, either that or his instincts took over in the moment.

Keep in mind, St-Laurent looks like a badass because this all worked out perfectly for him. There are far more scenarios where this would end much, much worse.

By the way, for those who may be curious, the Sabres won the game 5-1.

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