Saturday morning, the NHL announced it had fined Capitals forward TJ Oshie for an incident he had with Kris Letang during the Caps’ 7-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night.
According to the Department of Player Safety, Oshie will be docked $5,000, “the most allowed by the CBA,” for cross-checking.
Washington’s T. J. Oshie fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for cross-checking Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) February 3, 2018
With 20 seconds left to play in the second period, Oshie delivered what he thought was a clean shoulder-to-shoulder hit to Kris Letang along the boards. Instead, a referee blocked Brian Dumoulin’s pass from arriving, causing Oshie to hit Letang without the puck.
Letang, who likely thought he was interfered with, did not take kindly to Oshie’s big bodycheck and a melee broke out. Letang first threw a punch at Oshie, who a month ago returned from his fourth-documented concussion, in the back of the head. Oshie responded with an elbow to Letang’s face.
As Letang fell, Oshie then delivered a cross-check to the shoulder or neck of the Pens defenseman.
The two would continue to paw at each other. Oshie dropped his gloves to fight, but Letang, who arguably started the altercation, did not reciprocate.
— Chase Williams WPXI (@chasepwilliams) February 3, 2018
Oshie received a two-minute minor penalty for cross-checking while Letang received a minor for roughing.
“It’s hard to figure out what you’re going to get fine and suspended for, and what you’re not.” — T.J. Oshie on the $5,000 fine he was assessed for cross checking Kris Letang. pic.twitter.com/zuMtxNYAk3
— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) February 3, 2018
“I agree it’s a penalty, but I don’t look down and target,” Oshie said after practice. “First of all, I don’t hit his head. I don’t know what replay or secret angle they had. I got him in back of the trap or the neck. It’s hard to figure out what you’re going to be fined or suspended for and what you’re not.”
The altercation was one of several controversial plays during the game.
Tom Wilson was given a two-minute minor in the second period for roughing Ian Cole. Cole’s skates hit the boards as Wilson delivered the hit, causing the Pens skater to drop his level. Wilson would strike Cole in the face. NBC Sports Washington’s Craig Laughlin said it was a “reputation call” on Wilson. “I can’t believe it. Nor can Barry Trotz,” Laughlin said.
Ryan Reaves also took a cheap shot at Alex Ovechkin during the first period. The Pens’ goon hit the Caps captain in front of the net when he didn’t have the puck.
Oshie’s fine will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. It largely equates to a slap on the wrist.
Equals to a 30-buck fine for a 50k salary. This is serious! He’ll think about it next time. This league 🤦♂️
— Francois Gregoire (@FrankGregoire) February 3, 2018
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