Nathan MacKinnon will not be fined or suspended by the NHL after the Colorado Avalanche superstar slashed an official.
The play in question occurred at center ice after a third-period faceoff.
— Michael Ryan (@ryancopyme) February 21, 2022
MacKinnon lost the draw to Tomas Nosek and absorbed a forearm shiver from the Bruins forward to the back of the head. MacKinnon responded with a two-hand chop that made contact with linesman Michel Cormier. The play occurred directly after the Bruins’ fifth goal of the game against the Avalanche.
The NHL on Tuesday absolved MacKinnon of all blame as they believed the slash was targeted at an opposing player instead of the official.
The NHL Hockey Operations said this in a statement:
The safety of our on-ice officials is, and always has been, of paramount importance to us. In this regard, we have always exercised a zero tolerance policy when it comes to any form of abuse of our officials. Last night, one of our officials was struck by a player with his stick immediately after a face-off. We immediately investigated the incident and, having conferred with the on-ice officiating crew and the NHL Officials’ Association, it has been determined that the player’s intention was not to strike the official but, rather, to initiate contact with the opposing player. Given this conclusion, it has been determined that no further discipline is necessary. This decision should in no way be seen as a diminution of our steadfast conviction to protect our officials.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 22, 2022
This slashing incident isn’t the only recent play MacKinnon has got off scot-free. Six days prior, the 2020 Lady Byng winner leveled Vegas forward Nolan Patrick with a headshot.
Scary moments for Nolan Patrick after a shoulder to the head from Nathan MacKinnon. pic.twitter.com/b5NZs7BQ7Q
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) February 17, 2022
Patrick, who has a long history of concussions, left the game and has not returned to practice since. MacKinnon received just a two-minute minor for interference and no supplemental discipline.
Headline photo: Ian Oland/RMNB
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