Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid was given a major penalty and a game misconduct for boarding Los Angeles Kings winger Adrian Kempe.
Referee Corey Syvret did not immediately raise his arm to indicate a penalty on the play. After discussing it with referee Pierre Lambert and veteran linesmen Michel Cormier and Steve Barton, the call on the ice was changed. McDavid was given a major penalty for boarding.
Rule 32 empowers the linesmen to report any major penalties to the referee at the next stoppage in play.
The Linesman must report upon completion of play, any circumstances pertaining to: Major penalties, Match penalties, Misconduct penalties, Game Misconduct penalties, Abuse of Officials, Physical Abuse of Officials, and Unsportsmanlike Conduct.
Once the major penalty has been called on the ice, the officials have the ability to review the play. In this case, they could confirm the boarding major or downgrade it to a minor penalty for boarding. They do not have the option of removing the penalty via review. The final decision on the call is made solely by the on-ice officials, not by the NHL’s Situation Room.
From Rule 20.6:
Referees shall review all plays that result in the assessment of any Major Penalty (other than a Major Penalty for Fighting) for the purpose of confirming (or modifying) their original call on the ice.
Such reviews will be conducted exclusively by the Referee(s) on the ice in consultation with other On-Ice Official(s), as appropriate, using the technology (for example, a handheld tablet or a television or computer monitor) specified in and provided pursuant to Rule 38.5.
Communication between the Situation Room and the On-Ice Officials shall be limited to contact between the appropriate Game Logger in the Situation Room and the Referee to ensure the Referee is receiving any and all video they might request, as well as the appropriate replay angles they may need to review the penalty call. There shall be no other contact or consultation between the On-Ice Official(s) and the NHL Situation Room, or with any other non-game participant.
The Referee shall only have the following options following video review of his own call: (i) confirming his original Major Penalty call; or (ii) reducing his original Major Penalty call to a lesser penalty for the same infraction.
Another look confirmed the major penalty call.
Kempe was cut on the play but did return to the game. Since there was a major penalty assessed and an injury on the play, a mandatory game misconduct was also issued.
Los Angeles scored three times on the resulting power play – including one goal from Kempe – to win the game 5-1.
No further discipline is expected to McDavid for the hit.
This is McDavid’s second game misconduct. His first came in January 2018, when he yelled at referee Steve Kozari after scoring the game-winning goal in the shootout. McDavid shouted “Go upstairs!” to the veteran official in response to an earlier overtime goal that had been disallowed after review due to goaltender interference