Detroit Red Wings forward Steve Ott has been fined $2,222.22 for spearing Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. The incident took place on the first shift of Saturday’s game in Detroit. Both Ott and Chara were given unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the play.
Ott’s lucky that the officials missed the spear. Had it been caught, the Bruins would’ve been shorthanded for a full five minutes and Ott would have been done for the game. From the NHL rulebook:
Spearing shall mean stabbing an opponent with the point of the stick blade, whether contact is made or not. A double-minor penalty will be imposed on a player who spears an opponent and does not make contact. A major penalty shall be imposed on a player who spears an opponent. Whenever a major penalty is assessed for spearing, a game misconduct penalty must also be imposed
Ott’s fine is the maximum permitted under the CBA based on his $800,000 salary. Per the CBA:
A fine may be in an amount up to fifty percent (50%) of the Player’s Paragraph 1 NHL Salary and Bonuses, but not including Performance Bonuses, divided by the number of days (180, for 2016-17) in the Regular Season.
This fine does not make Ott a ‘repeat offender’ for the purposes of calculating salary lost under the CBA.
Ott is no stranger to the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. In addition to piling up 1,487 penalty minutes in 802 NHL games, he’s been suspended twice in the past. In 2009, he received a match penalty and a one-game suspension for eye gouge on Travis Moen during a fight. The previous year he sat for three games for a hit to the head of defenseman Jordan Leopold.