The Department of Player Safety has determined that Ian Cole will not receive a suspension for his hit on Mark Scheifele last night. Cole has earned a $5,000 fine instead, the maximum allowable amount under the CBA.
The Carolina Hurricanes defenseman received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the play, while Scheifele did not exit the game or suffer a serious injury. Both of those things likely were considered in the decision of whether or not to elevate it to a suspension, like the one handed out to Neal Pionk recently. Pionk delivered a similar knee-on-knee hit against Rasmus Sandin, who suffered an injury on the play. The Winnipeg Jets defenseman was not penalized by the on-ice officials, and ended up receiving a two-game suspension.
It’s certainly good news for the Hurricanes, who are already down two key defensemen. With Cole out of the game and the Hurricanes on a long penalty kill, Jaccob Slavin ended up logging nearly 30 minutes against the Jets, including more than six shorthanded. If Cole were to also receive a suspension, the team would be dealing with a huge gap in their depth on the back end. Instead, he’ll get a fine on his record that will influence future supplementary discipline decisions and cost him a bit of money.