The Department of Player Safety has decided that Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber will not face a suspension, but does have to fork over a few dollars. Weber has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for his slash on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov last night.
As Kucherov glided past the Montreal net, Weber delivered a slash to the back of his leg that sent the Lightning forward tumbling into the corner. There was no penalty on the play and Kucherov did not suffer a serious injury. A fine will go on Weber’s supplementary discipline record though, meaning in deciding punishment for any future incidents, this will be taken into account.
Just yesterday, commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the concerns expressed by many fans over the level of officiating in the playoffs this season, by saying that the NHL has “not only the best hockey officials in the world, they are the best officials in any sport.” It is these incidents that do not go penalized on the ice that frustrate so many fans, given they result in supplementary discipline afterward.
Seven penalties were called in a 5-1 Tampa Bay Lightning win on Monday. It will be interesting to see if this fine draws any increased attention on Weber from the referees in game two Wednesday night.