Minnesota Wild rookie Brandon Duhaime will not face supplemental discipline for his hit on Colorado’s Bowen Byram, according to The Athletic’s Michael Russo.
The hit came 2:24 into the third period of Saturday night’s game, with the Avalanche leading 2-1. Duhaime hit Byram from behind, driving him into the boards. Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon rushed over, dropping the gloves to challenge Duhaime for the hit.
Duhaime was given a five-minute major for boarding on the play, along with a mandatory game misconduct which is required when the hit causes an injury to the head or neck.
He and MacKinnon each picked up roughing minors, with the referees opting for leniency under Rule 46:
A fight shall be deemed to have occurred when at least one player punches or attempts to punch an opponent repeatedly or when two players wrestle in such a manner as to make it difficult for the Linesmen to intervene and separate the combatants. The Referees are provided very wide latitude in the penalties with which they may impose under this rule. This is done intentionally to enable them to differentiate between the obvious degrees of responsibility of the participants either for starting the fight or persisting in continuing the fight. The discretion provided should be exercised realistically.
Colorado head coach Jared Bednar defended MacKinnon’s response.
“That’s just Nate. He’s not going to jump in for minor infractions,” Bednar said. “When he takes exception to something he deems dirty, he tends to get in there.”
MacKinnon clearly didn’t like the hit. Byram was not injured on the play and did remain in the game.
“I thought that that was a very dirty play,” MacKinnon said after the game. “I think he should get suspended.”
The league disagreed.
While Duhaime was penalized via major penalty and ejection from the game, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety does not consider the on-ice punishment when making a determination on supplemental discipline. They look to see if the offense was suspendable, and, if so, the length of suspension. In this case, it appears that they felt that Duhaime’s actions did not rise to the level of supplemental discipline.
Colorado’s Nazem Kadri scored on the resulting power play to put his team up 3-1, en route to a 4-1 win.
Referees for the game were Jake Brenk (#26) and Graham Skilliter (#24), with linesmen Ryan Galloway (#82) and Trent Knorr (#74).