The New York Rangers and Dallas Stars have met twice this season, and NHL Player Safety has had to get involved both times.
Back in December, Stars center Cody Eakin earned a four-game suspension for running over Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (Streamable link of incident). The two teams met again last night, and Eakin was involved in another incident, though this time it was on the receiving end. Early in the second period, Chris Kreider picked a fight with Eakin, likely out of retribution for Eakin’s run-in with Lundqvist. During the fight, Kreider grabbed Eakin’s helmet and hit Eakin in the head with it (GIF via @myregularface).
Kreider has been fined $5K for the incident, which is the maximum allowable fine under the CBA. Under NHL rules, Kreider should have been ejected for attempting to “deliberately [injure] an opponent by throwing a stick or any other object or piece of equipment at an opposing player.”
Instead, he only received the usual five-minute major for fighting. The swing happened quickly, so perhaps the referees missed it or didn’t deem it to be a deliberate action.
- The struggling Arizona Coyotes will be without one of their top players when they visit the Winnipeg Jets. Martin Hanzal has left the team temporarily to “attend to a family matter,” according to Dave Vest of the Arizona Coyotes. Hanzal has 15 points in 37 games for the second-to-last-place Coyotes. He’s expected to be dealt sometime before the NHL trade deadline on March 1.
- Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson is doubtful for Thursday night’s game in St. Louis, according to coach Barry Trotz (via Isabelle Khurshudyan). Carlson missed Monday night’s epic 8-7 loss in Pittsburgh with a lower-body injury. Carlson has 25 points in 43 games this year. Trotz said the team may call up a defenseman before next game; Khurshudyan believes Aaron Ness is the likely call-up. Ness has 16 points in 31 games with the Hershey Bears.
- While Morgan Rielly being out day-to-day is bad news for Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s good news for Frankie Corrado. Corrado has appeared in just one game at the NHL level this season, and will get a short window to make a good impression on Mike Babcock. Corrado told TSN’s Kristen Shilton that he’s “a hockey player, so it’s nice to play hockey.”