If you instigate a fight in the last five minutes of the game, you’re going to have a bad time. More specificially, you’re going to get a night off.

New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic, have a seat over there.

Hamonic will miss the Islanders’ next game – Sunday against the Florida Panthers.  He’s received an automatic one-game suspension for picking a fight with Ryan Carter in the final minutes of the team’s blowout loss to the New Jersey Devils.  Carter was going off for a line change when he was blindsided by Hamonic.

It was Hamonic’s second fight of the period.   He had a much more willing opponent ten minutes earlier, when he squared off against the Devils’ Steve Bernier.

From the NHL Rulebook:

Rule 46.12 – Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in Overtime) – A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime shall be assessed an instigator minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, and a game misconduct penalty, subject to the conditions outlined in 46.22.

46.22 Fines and Suspensions – Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in Overtime) – A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5)  minutes of regulation time or at anytime in overtime (see 46.12), shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident. When the one-game suspension is imposed, the Coach shall be fined $10,000 – a fine that will double for each subsequent incident.

That’s right – Islanders head coach John Capuano is also $10,000 poorer for Hamonic’s late-game brawl.