Connor McDavid’s shot at Jesperi Kotkaniemi in Tuesday’s game caused a lot of talk.
Several questioned the NHL’s decision to impose a $ 5,000 fine on the Oilers player. This is the maximum amount allowed by the collective agreement. The Players’ Association and the NHL should review these amounts. It is true that in proportion to McDavid’s salary, this sum is derisory. However, this sanction goes to his file if he ever decides to reoffend.
I’ve written this over and over, at the speed the game is going, the penalty for headshot is not always easy to see. If you watch the streak, the referee reacting to the infraction is behind the play and sees Kotkaniemi’s back. A roughness penalty was awarded. With this angle, I would have made the same decision.
It is for this reason that the Department of Player Safety exists. With hindsight and all the technological tools at his disposal, he is able to make the best possible decision.
Earlier this season, Dillon Dubé hit “KK” in the head. The move deserved a penalty, but it was in reaction to a change in direction from the Canadiens young center. In McDavid’s case, it’s different and the NHL recognizes that by fining him. Kotkaniemi lost the puck on impact. McDavid raises his arms to reach the CH player with his elbow. Although not extremely violent, it is a gesture of frustration that is not the result of a failed check. I wish we had given McDavid a one-game suspension for his gesture.
Last night during the Avalanche-Coyotes game, Nathan MacKinnon picked up Conor Garland’s helmet and threw it at him without warning. This gesture, if observed, should be punished with a match penalty. MacKinnon will definitely be sanctioned by the NHL today.
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