Lightning coach Jon Cooper ejected abuse official Wes McCauley
(Screenshot/ Bally Sports)

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper wasn’t happy with the officiating Thursday night vs Pittsburgh.

Cooper was ejected for “abuse of officials” against the Penguins at Amalie Arena. Cooper disagreed with a penalty call made by referee Wes McCauley and screamed obscenities at him. McCauley had enough of the yelling and gave Cooper the boot.

The Penguins and Lightning played a heated Eastern Conference rivalry game Thursday. Things reached a boiling point at the end of the second period when a scrum broke out in front of the Pittsburgh goal.

At the end of the scrum, the Penguins wound up on the power play. Bryan Rust and Anthony Circelli got coincidental minor penalties. Corey Perry and Mark Friedman also got coincidental minors, but Perry got an extra two minutes on top of that.

The referee who made the call was Wes McCauley, who is famous for his entertaining penalty calls. Cooper wasn’t in the laughing mood, however.  The Lightning coach was livid with the extra penalty call, screaming obscenities at Wes McCauley.

We couldn’t make out exactly what Cooper said to McCauley, but it wasn’t anything positive. One of the phrases Cooper appears to scream is “f**king embarrassing!” Cooper also appears to say “that’s a f**king joke, Wes!”

You can see the video of Cooper’s rage below. Lip readers made be able to decipher what exactly Cooper said using their lip reading talents.


Cooper’s “abuse of officials” penalty came with a game misconduct, meaning Cooper was ejected for the entire game. Bolts’ forward Pat Maroon served the penalty for Cooper, which put the Penguins on a 5-on-3 power play.

Pittsburgh went on to win the game by a 5-1 score, snapping Tampa Bay’s five-game winning streak. Cooper will be back behind the bench for the Lightning in their next game Friday against Detroit.

It isn’t very often you see an NHL coach get ejected from a game. Per Sportsnet Stats, Cooper is the first NHL head coach to be ejected for abuse of an official since Peter DeBoer of the San Jose Sharks on November 24th, 2018

Jon Cooper was a lawyer before becoming an NHL coach, so it’s easy to see where he gets his passion from. Cooper is chasing a third straight Stanley Cup, and he isn’t going to let any questionable officiating get in his way.