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Former Flame Nick Ritchie Facing Discipline After On Ice Tantrum



Nick Ritchie reigns down blows on a defenceless Markus Nurmi.

Dec. 29 UPDATE: Nick Ritchie has been handed an eight game suspension. 

Former Flames deadline acquisition Nick Ritchie has found himself in hot water after an interaction with Ottawa Senators 2016 sixth-round pick Marcus Nurmi during a Thursday night game between TPS Turku and Oulun Kärpät in the Finnish Liiga.

Currently leading TPS Turku in scoring with 13 goals, 12 assists in 35 games, Nurmi, 25, has a reputation for flying under the radar while getting under the skin of the opposition.

Now plying his trade overseas and with 26 fights to his NHL resume, former Duck, Bruin, Maple Leaf, Coyote, and Calgary Flame Nick Ritchie has a reputation for not putting up with being pestered.

All ingredients necessary for disaster were present on Dec. 28’s showdown between sixth place Karpat and 11th place TPS.

Nick Ritchie & the Gatorade Center Incident

Early in the second period, Nurmi scored a goal in what served as the final straw for Penguins goaltending prospect Filip Lindberg. Out went Lindberg, and in went former Penn State University goaltender Oskar Autio. Minutes later, having already served two minors for holding and cross-checking, Nick Ritchie seemingly hit a boiling point.

Kärpät went on to win the game 5-3. To his credit, Nick Ritchie posted 29 penalty minutes – 27 more than any other player in the game – as well as three shots on goal in 8:54 of ice time. The eight-season NHL vet will soon get his first meeting with Liiga’s disciplinary delegation.

Ritchie’s time as a Calgary Flame was as short-lived as it was dramatic.

Acquired as a last-minute deadline acquisition in the first brother-for-brother trade in NHL history, Nick and Troy Stetcher headed to Calgary in exchange for Brett Ritchie and defenceman Connor Mackey on Mar. 3, 2023.

Ritchie put up respectable stats in a diminished role with the Flames. Four goals and one assist over 16 games had Nick producing at a 20-goal, five-assist pace over an 82-game schedule. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound winger became a lightning rod for fan frustration when former Head Coach Darryl Sutter selected him as one of the shooters in a season-defining shootout with the Nashville Predators.

The Flames eventually lost the shootout off of consecutive goals by Tommy Novak and Cody Glass. Fellow Flames shooters Mikael Backlund and Nazem Kadri also missed their shots. Jonathan Huberdeau was the only Flame to score in on his attempt and the Flames eventually missed the playoffs by three points.

With no contract heading into the 2023-2024 season, Ritchie signed a professional tryout agreement with the St. Louis Blues. The 10th overall pick in 2014 recorded one assist, three hits, and 17 penalty minutes in three preseason games before being released from his tryout and signing a one-year with Kärpät.

Recording five points in ten games with his new team, the former Peterborough Pete is currently on pace for 252 penalty minutes in 36 Liiga games.