Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 4/24/12
The rats are back on the South Florida ice during the New Jersey Devils- Florida Panthers Eastern Conference first-round playoff series and the the NHL isn't happy.

Despite repeated pleas from the public-address announcer and plenty of notices on Miami Arena's massive center-ice scoreboard— saying anyone caught throwing a rat during the game would be ejected, plus risk the team getting a two-minute penalty for delay of game— a lot of fans do not heed the warning.  Dozens get thrown into the rink after every Florida goal.

Now, Michael Yormack— the Panthers team president— is blaming Devils fans for causing the disruptions.

Today, Yormack tweeted about the visiting snowbirds sabotaging the game:

"Panthers will not sell rats at pantherland.  This is a result of visiting fans throwing rats on the ice during the game."

If that is true, there must be at least 15,000 Devils fans filling the Panthers home ice.  That's funny because the Devils can barely fill their own home arena back in Jersey.

Yormack's wild assertion that Devils fans are trying to get penalties for the "Rat Tricks" was challenged and ridiculed by the team's followers on Twitter before Tuesday night's Game 6 at the Prudential Center in Newark.

One user tweeted back: "@PanthersYormack is making an ass of himself and the organization."

To which Yormack tweeted back: "you have 70 followers.  No one cares what you think."

Others called Yormack an "utter moron" and worse.

The "old-time hockey" series between these teams has been relatively tame compared to other violent first-round match-ups and the biggest controversy so far is a bunch of rubber rats.

It's actually pretty funny that these days, an NHL executive will take to Twitter to defend his organization and get into it with rival fans by tweeting insults back and forth.

The Devils hope they can tie the series tonight so they can head down to Florida for a Game 7.

Sounds like there is one big rat down in Miami.
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