Wild forward Ryan Hartman was fined over $4.4K, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for high-sticking Jets forward Cole Perfetti during Sunday’s 3-2 loss, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced today. This is the seventh fine of Hartman’s career, as The Athletic’s Michael Russo notes, and his second disciplinary punishment of the season after being assessed a two-game suspension for tripping Red Wings winger Alex DeBrincat in November.
The incident in question was confirmed to be deliberate, inexplicably coming out of Hartman’s mouth during gameplay. Perfetti, who was wearing a microphone for Sunday’s game, told reporters today that Hartman told Perfetti that the high stick was retribution for the Brenden Dillon cross-check that injured Wild star Kirill Kaprizov the day before (via the Winnipeg Free Press’ Mike McIntyre). Perfetti, who turned 22 yesterday, was not involved in the Dillon/Kaprizov altercation.
For the Wild, the lack of a suspension for Hartman is great news. Already dealing with injuries to two-thirds of their first line in Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello, middle-six bruiser Marcus Foligno is now a game-time decision for tonight’s clash against the Flames with a lingering undisclosed injury, per NHL.com’s Jessi Pierce. The 32-year-old Foligno, who has four points in his last five games, skated in a third-line role alongside Frédérick Gaudreau and Pat Maroon in Sunday’s loss.
His absence would force the Wild to dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen, as veteran d-man Jonathon Merrill is the only healthy extra skater on Minnesota’s roster. The Wild are eligible to use an emergency recall in Foligno’s absence, but without ruling him out for tonight’s contest, they wouldn’t be able to do so until after the game.
Elsewhere in the Central Division today:
- Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog returned to Denver from Sweden to continue his recovery from a right-knee cartilage transplant earlier this season, leading to increased hope that he could return for a potential 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs berth and suit up for the first time since Colorado captured the championship in 2022. The Denver Post’s Corey Masisak revealed last weekend that Landeskog’s family has now moved back to Colorado, furthering confidence that the long-time first-line fixture will resume his career at some point. The 31-year-old has now undergone multiple knee surgeries over the past three years and has not eclipsed the 70-game mark in a season since the 2018-19 campaign, five years ago.
- After being sent down for salary cap management purposes yesterday, Stars netminder Matt Murray was recalled from AHL Texas today, per team radio analyst Bruce LeVine. The 25-year-old is once again in the NHL on an emergency basis while starter Jake Oettinger is sidelined week-to-week with a lower-body injury. He has not made an appearance since Oettinger exited the lineup over two weeks ago, however, leading to seven straight starts for veteran backup Scott Wedgewood. The 31-year-old Ontarian has been up to the task, posting a 6-1-1 record and .906 SV% since Oettinger left a December 15 game against the Senators less than halfway through the first period. The Stars have not had back-to-back games since Oettinger was injured. Murray, who does not require waivers and has a .908 SV% through 13 games with AHL Texas this season, will continue to back up Wedgewood for the foreseeable future.