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New York Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux has been fined $2,.000 for his hit on Vegas forward Cody Glass. The NHL announced the fine yesterday.
Brendan Lemieux has been fined by the NHL for an elbow to Vegas Golden Knight rookie Cody Glass. The New York Rangers forward hit the Vegas player with a little over three minutes left in the second period. He wasn’t penalized on the play. Cody Glass was obviously dazed and had to leave the ice with assistance. He suffered a concussion on the play.

The hit has caused a furor in Las Vegas with fans calling for a suspension. Lemieux was challenged and fought Vegas’ William Carrier in the third period.

Here is the hit:

Despite the fact that there was no penalty on the play, due to the injury, it was reviewed by the NHL Department of Player Safety. Here is their explanation of the fine:

New York Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux has been fined $2,000.00 for elbowing Vegas Golden Knights forward Cody Glass during NHL Game No. 466 in Las Vegas on Sunday, Dec. 8, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 16:40 of the second period.
The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

That sure tells us a lot, doesn’t it? On one hand, the Rangers should be happy that Lemieux escaped with a $2,000 fine and wasn’t suspended. He has already developed a reputation in the league and is currently second in the NHL in penalty minutes.

On the other hand, Lemieux was fined for the Vegas hit that wasn’t ruled a penalty in the game and appeared to be accidental. While it’s just a fine and not a suspension, building up a history of disciplinary actions will affect any future rulings.

A prior suspension
Lemieux also has a history. While with the Winnipeg Jets last season he was suspended for two games for an illegal hit to the head. The check to Florida’s Vincent Trocheck was completely different than his hit on Cody Glass. He was also given a match penalty and had a fight right after the hit. Here is the NHL’s explanation of the suspension.

Lemieux’s check on Trocheck was much more predatory and intentional. That;s the big difference with his check on Cody Glass. After the game Lemieux explained that it was accidental and reached out to Glass as he was being taken off the ice.

After the game, Vegas coach Gerard Gallant was more forgiving of the check. “I don’t think there was a real attempt to hurt him…but you’re responsible for your stick. You should be responsible for your elbow.”

On Monday, Knights defensemen Brayden McNabb told the Las Vegas Review-Journal “From what I know, it’s an avoidable hit…it doesn’t need to happen, and now you’ve got a young guy who’s not playing and it’s crucial to his development. He’s a big part of our team. It’s a team that we only play twice and we’re done. I guess you could say it’s part of hockey, but it’s unfortunate.”

A precedent last season
There is at least one precedent for the fine after that hit. Last March, Chris Kreider was fined $5,000 for a hit that was practically identical to Lemieux’s. Kreider hit Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson with an elbow, bloodying the Canucks forward. Kreider was given a game misconduct and a two minute elbowing penalty. Pettersson returned to the game, a 4-1 Vancouver win.

Why Kreider’s check warranted a $5,000 fine and Lemieux’s a $2,000 fine is tough to explain. Kreider was tossed from the game and the Rangers were shorthanded and gave up a power play goal. Pettersson returned and played a regular shift the rest of the game.

Sunday, there was no penalty on Lemieux’s hit. With a concussion, Cody Glass is expected to miss some action. In hindsight, the long term effect of the Lemieux hit will be much worse than Kreider’s.

There have been eight players fined so far this season for infractions ranging from elbowing to unsportsmanlike conduct. Lemieux’s $2,000 fine is the smallest so far this season with Ryan Johansen and Evander Kane each fined $5,000 last week for elbowing.

It would be helpful if there was more of an explanation about why the determination was made to fine a player rather than just stating that a player has been fined.

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