Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk has been fined $5,000 for cross-checking Minnesota Wild forward Marcus Johansson during a heated game between the two teams last night, the NHL Department of Player Safety said Wednesday morning. This is the maximum allowable fine under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The incident occurred late in the third period of the game, which the Jets won 3-1. Pionk received a major penalty for cross-checking Johansson, but the league felt that the infraction deserved further punishment.
Johansson was in obvious discomfort after the play, which caused him to fall to the ice. His injury status is currently unknown.
The game between the Jets and the Wild was a physical affair, with other incidents drawing the attention of the league. Wild forward Ryan Hartman is facing a potential suspension for a hit on Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers, which occurred earlier in the game. The league is expected to make a ruling on Hartman’s status later today.
The decision to hold a hearing for one incident but not the other is sure to draw ire from some. Both incidents had some perceived level of intent, depending on who you ask, and both resulted in potential injuries to the opposing players.