Even the NHL Department of Player Safety was busy on deadline day. Player Safety has announced that Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ben Chiarot has been issued a maximum fine for cross-checking Arizona Coyotes forward Nick Cousins in Sunday’s game. Per the CBA, Chiarot has been fined $3,763.44, equivalent to about one-fifth of a game check on his $1.6MM salary.
The hit in question came late in the second period with the Jets trailing the Coyotes 3-1. Chiarot delivered a hard cross-check to head/neck area of Cousins and was fortunate to only get a minor penalty on the play. The lack of further in-game punishment was likely a factor in the fine decision. Cousins remained in the game and Arizona held on to win, adding insult to injury in the whole ordeal.
While Chiarot has been known to be a hothead from time to time, it is important to note that Cousins is also a renown instigator. The Coyotes forward uses his ability to annoy the opposition and get them to react as one of the hallmarks of his game. While in this case Chiarot’s response was dangerous and over the top, it’s fair to assume that Cousins initiated the exchange, as he has many times before.