Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captain Nathan Smith will be suspended for the first game of the second round of the playoffs, coach Todd Richards announced Tuesday morning.
Smith was charged with public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, open lewdness and indecent exposure after he ran naked into the street as part of what he called “a prank that went wrong” early Sunday morning in Scranton.
“Guys have to be held accountable for their actions,” Richards said. “That’s what we’ve done all year. That’s what we will continue to do. Yes, we are here to win games, but when situations like this arise, that’s not the most important thing.”
Smith also met with the media and was apologetic.
“I recognize the fact that being a member of this team, part of our job is being a good role model in the community,” he said. “What I did was out of character for myself and is something I’ll always remember and never do again.”
Richards said he had not yet decided whether Smith would continue to act as the team’s captain. Veteran winger Dennis Bonvie said he thought Smith should continue in that role.
“Take that blip out of the screen and he’s been an unbelievable leader for us,” Bonvie said. “Does he deserve to be the captain? Yeah, he does. Other people will say, ‘Well, look what he did.’ Yeah, he did that, but he’s dealt with it head on and he’s dealt with it face up. Is he still the captain of our hockey club? As far as we’re concerned he is. He’s definitely the captain of our hockey club.”