Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn will receive no supplemental discipline for a dangerous hit on Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Benn was given a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct by referees Justin St. Pierre and Pierre Lambert. Ekman-Larsson left the ice under his own power after staying down for a few minutes. He returned for the third period.
Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas News reports that Benn will not face further discipline from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety
Source: There will be no supplemental discipline (no fine or suspension) for Jamie Benn after his hit on Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Ekman-Larsson put himself off balance to play the puck and lost a physical battle with Benn.
— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) February 20, 2020
The referees confirmed the call on the ice after reviewing video of the play. Video review on major penalties was added for this season, and is available at the refs’ discretion. Coaches are not able to request reviews of major or match penalties.
“That’s a tough call,” said Stars interim head coach Rick Bowness. “Two guys are going for the puck and one guy turns into the boards and they are going to bang. It probably looks a lot worse than it is. I hope the guy is okay, and he finished the game so he must be okay. It’s one of those, sometimes you put a referee in a tough position. I think that’s one of those.”
From the NHL rulebook:
A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently or dangerously.
The severity of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee. There is an enormous amount of judgment involved in the application of this rule by the Referees. The onus is on the player applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a defenseless position and if so, he must avoid or minimize contact. However, in determining whether such contact could have been avoided, the circumstances of the check, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the check or whether the check was unavoidable can be considered. This balance must be considered by the Referees when applying this rule.
The referee can award a minor or major penalty for boarding depending on the degree of violence of the impact with the boards. If a major penalty is handed out and a player is injured on the play, a game misconduct can also be tacked on. Players can receive a match penalty for boarding if the referee feels there was intent to deliberately injure on the play.
Benn’s last run-in with Player Safety came back in 2013, when he was fined $10,000 for cross-checking Ryan Jones. Benn picked up a major and game on that play, which was also the last time Benn received a major penalty for something other than fighting.