The NHL’s Department of Player Safety handed out a pair of fines for separate incidents, both involving hits to the head.  San Jose’s Evander Kane and Nashville’s Ryan Johansen were each fined $5,000 for their actions.

Sharks’ Kane Elbows Caps’ Gudas

Washington Capitals defenseman Radko Gudas was caught up high by an elbow from Kane late in the third period of Tuesday’s game in San Jose.

“I just tried to protect myself and kind if get out of the way,” Kane said of the play. “Unfortunately, he kind of ran his face into my fist and smashed his head off the dasher. It is what it is.”

Kane was given a major penalty and a game misconduct for elbowing by referees Jean Hebert and Marc Joannette, but didn’t expect to receive any further disciplinary action from Player Safety.

“I wasn’t expecting anything at all, but you never know with how everything works in today’s age with the league,” said Kane. “Everything seems to be under a very large microscope. So, just happy to be playing tonight.”

Gudas left the game with an injury, but did return to the Caps’ lineup on Wednesday.



Preds’ Johansen Elbows Bolts’ Point

Ryan Johansen was called for elbowing Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point when the two teams met in Nashville. The hit came with 10:53 remaining in the second period of Tuesday night’s game. Johansen was tossed from the game, picking up a major and a game from referees Kendrick Nicholson and Kyle Rehman.



“I guess he ran into my elbow there and my elbow clipped him,” said Johansen, who claimed no intent to injure Point on the play. “I was happy to see he was okay and he was back out playing on the next shift.”

Johansen was frustrated with his ejection, especially after a lesser interference minor was assessed to Tampa’s Erik Cernak for a hit on Preds forward Daniel Carr.


Cernak served his two minutes and remained in the game.  He was not assessed any supplemental discipline for the hit.

“Pretty frustrating,” said Johansen of Cernak’s minor penalty call. “I guess most frustrating because [Cernak] made a hit on [Carr] when he was in a vulnerable position. [It was] kind of a malicious play. There was no review on that. My play was a hockey play and kind of unlucky. “

“I would have accepted the elbowing penalty,” Johansen added, “but to see the play later in the game —  there was no review or extra look or talk about a more significant penalty. If mine’s going to be reviewed, then it should be a no-brainer for that one to be reviewed. He’s in a vulnerable spot and the target was the head.”

Johansen’s penalty was reviewed by the referees, as has become standard under a change to the rulebook for 2019-20.  Referees now have the ability to – at their discretion – review major and match penalty calls to confirm the severity of the infraction. The officials would then have the option of reducing the call from a major/match to a minor penalty.

From the NHL rulebook, here’s Rule 45 – Elbowing:

45.1 Elbowing – Elbowing shall mean the use of an extended elbow in a manner that may or may not cause injury.

45.2 Minor Penalty – The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a minor penalty, based on the degree of violence, to a player guilty of elbowing an opponent.

45.3 Major Penalty – A major penalty, at the discretion of the Referee, shall be imposed on any player who uses his elbow to foul an opponent. A major penalty must be imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent (see 45.5).

45.4 Match Penalty – The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent by elbowing.

45.5 Game Misconduct Penalty – When a major penalty is imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent, a game misconduct penalty shall also be imposed.

The Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund is now $10,000 richer thanks to a pair of elbows.