New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield was ejected for kneeing Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov. He will not receive any further disciplinary action from NHL Player Safety.
The incident happened during Tuesday’s game in Florida. Barkov carried the puck into the Islanders zone, where he was met by Mayfield, who delivered a knee-on-knee hit. Both players went down, with Barkov appearing to get the worst of the hit.
Mayfield was given a five-minute major for kneeing, along with a game misconduct.
Rule 50 – Kneeing
50.1 – Kneeing is the act of a player leading with his knee and in some cases extending his leg outwards to make contact with his opponent.
50.2 Minor Penalty – The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a minor penalty, based on the severity of the infraction, to a player guilty of kneeing an opponent.
50.3 Major Penalty – The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a major penalty, based on the severity of the infraction, to a player guilty of kneeing an opponent (see 50.5).
50.4 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 kneeing.
50.5 Game Misconduct Penalty – When a player has been assessed a major penalty for kneeing he shall also be assessed a Game Misconduct.
Barkov left the ice and did not return to the game.
Both head coaches did not feel the hit was dirty.
“There wasn’t a big window as Barkov came laterally between him and another player,” said Islanders coach Barry Trotz. “He looked like he was trying to hit him shoulder to shoulder. I know Scott. There’s no intent there. It’s all in the interpretation.”
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety apparently agreed, opting to take no further disciplinary action against Mayfield for the hit.
“I think it was very unfortunate,” acknowledged Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette. “Little bit reckless, but he was just trying to finish his check.”
Barkov remains week-to-week. His injury will not require surgery.
Mayfield has not previously been fined or suspended by the league. He previously avoided disciplinary action for a cross-check that injured Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Referees for the game were Garrett Rank and Kyle Rehman. Linesmen were Mitch Hunt and Travis Toomey.