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A streaking hockey player in Scranton

There's not a whole lot going on in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I know this from firsthand experience -- I used to date a guy who was born and raised there and tagged along a few times when he went to visit family. It's not a bad place. It's an old industrial town that used to be big in the coal and railroad industries way back in the day. Times changed, those industries died off, jobs were lost, the population aged and dwindled as young people moved away.

In the last twenty or so years there have been attempts at revitalization, including a downtown shopping mall and the establishment of the Steamtown National Historic Site. Scranton's also gained some favorable attention as the setting of the NBC sitcom The Office. Still, the town's current population is about half of what it was in the 1930s and, as I said, there's just not as much to do there as most young people would like.

So it's really not too surprising that Nathan Smith, a center for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (the American Hockey League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins), was arrested by Scranton police early Sunday morning for, among other things, streaking. The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader describes the scene:

According to the police report, officer Michael Marino was on routine patrol at 2:29 a.m. along the 100 block of Adams Avenue when he saw a group of men standing in the street. As he drove closer, one man, who police later identified as Nathan Smith, came out from behind the group and started running naked toward Marino’s location.

When the officer approached, Smith, who is the Penguins captain, apologized and said he acted on a bet.

Smith was charged with third-degree misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure, open lewdness, disorderly conduct and a summary offense of public drunkenness. A teammate, Ryan Stone, was also arrested for public drunkenness.

Smith released a statement Monday apologizing for his actions. The AHL suspended him for the team's second-round home playoff game tomorrow against the Philadelphia Phantoms. -- Joe Guckin