TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos thought having an elbow pad thrown at him earlier in the Stanley Cup Playoffs was one of the oddest things to happen to him in a hockey game until New York Rangers center Derick Brassard upped the ante Monday.
By his own admission, Brassard tried to take Stamkos' stick to the Rangers' dressing room following the second period of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Brassard said he saw Stamkos' stick lying on the ice in front of the Rangers' bench after the buzzer signaling the end of the period. He also thought he saw Stamkos heading for the door leading to the Lightning's dressing room, so he figured why not take the stick.
"The stick was there, so I just grabbed it and I took one or two steps going into the dressing room and he was at the door there waiting for his stick," Brassard said. "He told me if I wanted one of his sticks I could have just asked him."
Brassard said he was picking up Stamkos' stick so it wasn't in the way of other players jumping over the boards to head to the tunnel leading to the Rangers' dressing room. But he wasn't going to give it back.
"I was like, 'Oh, he doesn't want it, I'll take it,'" Brassard said.
Stamkos got a laugh out of it. He scored with the same stick at 6:28 of the third period.
"I have an idea he knew it was my stick and he kind of played it off that he didn't know," Stamkos said. "Maybe he put a goal in there for me. I don't know. It ended up working out."
Stamkos said typically guys try to get under his skin with trash talk or late hits, but this postseason has been different.
Montreal Canadiens right wing Brandon Prust threw an elbow pad at Stamkos at the end of Game 2 in the Eastern Conference Second Round and now Brassard tried to swipe his stick, possibly for his personal collection.
"That's gotta be up there," Stamkos said of odd things that have happened to him. "Usually it's just some trash talking or some little jabs and stuff after the whistle. I think that's the most creative one I've seen. I've never had anyone try to steal my stick and take it to the dressing room.
"We saw it [Tuesday] night too with [Corey] Perry and [Marian] Hossa. I don't know, maybe that's a trend now."
Perry tried to do it during a stoppage in play of Game 2 of the Western Conference Final. He just held onto Hossa's stick until Hossa noticed, then he dropped it.
Brassard said he was literally going to take Stamkos' stick into the Rangers' dressing room.
"I was just playing around," Brassard said.
"At the time I just wanted my stick back," Stamkos said.