Philadelphia Flyers forward Sam Morin has been fined $3,017.24 for unsportsmanlike conduct against New York Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux.
The two engaged in an altercation in the closing minutes of New York’s 8-3 win on Thursday night. Morin landed two punches, knocking Lemieux’s helmet off and sending both players to the ice. Morin appears to have grabbed Lemieux’s hair and attempted to slam his head into the ice.
Both players were given major penalties for fighting, with Morin also tagged for a cross-checking minor just prior to the scrap.
Morin is lucky to have avoided additional punishment.
Had it been detected by the officials, that hair-grab would’ve earned Morin an additional two.
75.2 Minor Penalty – A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct shall be assessed under this rule for the following infractions: … (ii) Any player who is guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct including, but not limited to hair-pulling, biting, grabbing hold of a face mask, etc.
The greater concern from a disciplinary standpoint would be the late-game fight. Had the officials felt Morin was the instigator – which could have certainly been supported by the rulebook, especially given the 8-3 score – there’d have been a lot more to unpack.
46.11 Instigator – An instigator of an altercation shall be a player who by his actions or demeanor demonstrates any/some of the following criteria: distance traveled; gloves off first; first punch thrown; menacing attitude or posture; verbal instigation or threats; conduct in retaliation to a prior game (or season) incident; obvious retribution for a previous incident in the game or season.
A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting and a ten-minute misconduct.
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 46.21.
46.21 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. The suspension shall be served unless, upon review of the incident, the Director of Hockey Operations, at his discretion, deems the incident is not related to the score, previous incidents in the game or prior games, retaliatory in nature, “message sending”, etc. The length of suspension will double for each subsequent offense. This suspension shall be served in addition to any other automatic suspensions a player may incur for an accumulation of three or more instigator penalties.
Is this one of those cases where they ‘let ’em play’ with two guys scrapping? Or is it where the instigator penalty, especially in the final five minutes, is so severe that officials hesitate to call it?
The fine to Morin is the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement without a phone hearing.
Morin is pointless so far this season through five games.
Referees for the game were Kyle Rehman (#10) and Furman South (#44). Linesmen were Tony Sericolo (#84) and Brad Kovachik (#71).