New York Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux has been fined $2,000 for elbowing Vegas Golden Knights forward Cody Glass.
The hit came with 3:20 remaining in the second period of Sunday night’s game in Las Vegas. No penalty was called on the play by referees Brian Pochmara and Graham Skilliter.
Glass, who was injured by the collision, was helped off the ice by teammates Mark Stone and Jonathan Marchessault; he did not return to the game.
“Obviously, [I] didn’t like the hit,” said Stone. “Thought it was reckless, but that’s the type of player that guy is.”
Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant said after the game the Glass would remain out with an upper body injury.
“[We’ve] all seen the hit,” said Gallant. “It was a flying elbow to his head. It wasn’t called. It’s disappointing, and I hope it gets looked at. I think it’s a bad hit.”
Lemieux defended the play as finishing his check. To his credit, the Rangers’ winger appeared to offer an apology and stick tap to Glass has he left the ice.
“I just saw an opportunity to make a hockey play,” Lemieux said. “I hope he’s okay. That’s an unfortunate part of the game. For me, there was not much I could do there. It’s just a hockey play. Sometimes that happens, and it’s unfortunate.”
Accidental or not, Golden Knights forward William Carrier challenged Lemieux, who is tied for the NHL-lead with five fighting majors this season, late in the game.
“I don’t know if it was on purpose or not, but he’s got to answer for it,” said Carrier after the game. “Same for me when I do those kinds of hits.”
Players may be fined up to 50% of one day’s salary, with a maximum of $10,000 for a first offense and $15,000 for subsequent fines within a rolling 12-month period.
Lemieux’s fine goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.