Smart thinking on the Wild bench helped Minnesota’s Marcus Foligno avoid a ten-game suspension for a fight with Toronto’s Wayne Simmonds.
A scrum broke out late in the first period of Saturday’s game between the Minnesota Wild and Toronto Maple Leafs. Foligno hopped over the boards for a line change, then reconsidered and returned to the ice. He dropped the gloves with Toronto’s Wayne Simmonds. Both picked up fighting majors. No other penalties were handed out.
Should there have been?
Sure, the refs could’ve dinged a few guys with matching minors for roughing, but that would’ve been largely inconsequential.
What about Foligno for leaving the bench? Rule 70 covers leaving the bench:
No player may leave the players’ or penalty bench at any time during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation.
A player who has entered the game while play is in progress from his own players’ bench or legally from the penalty bench (penalty time has expired) who starts an altercation may be subject to discipline in accordance with Rule 28 – Supplementary Discipline.
A game misconduct penalty shall be imposed on the player who was the first or second player to leave the players’ or penalty bench during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation, from either or both teams.
The first player to leave the players’ or penalty bench illegally during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation from either or both teams shall be suspended automatically without pay for the next ten (10) regular League and/or Play-off games of his team.
So why didn’t Foligno pick up an additional penalty? It turns out he never technically left the ice, since he hadn’t completed the line change.
No discipline coming to Marcus Foligno for this. Kirill Kaprizov saved him a 10-game suspension. NHL deeming this legal because nobody (Kaprizov astutely stayed on bench) changed for Foligno
I do think they’re debating his crash into Campbell late in the third, but nothing yet https://t.co/aRwkYEWDUw
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) December 5, 2021
Since Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov remained on the bench, Foligno was deemed never to have changed.
Smart move by Kaprizov to help his teammate avoid a ten-game suspension.