Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin doubled his entire penalty minute total from last season with just one swing of his stick.
The Canes blueliner picked up a double-minor for high-sticking New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider during Game 6 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series. Slavin was called for just two penalty minutes during the 2020-21 season, en route to capturing the Lady Byng Trophy as the league’s most gentlemanly player.
— Scouting The Refs (@ScoutingTheRefs) May 29, 2022
The NHL’s high sticking rule does allow for certain cases to go unpenalized when a player is struck by a high stick. From Rule 60:
Players must be in control and responsible for their stick. However, a player is permitted accidental contact on an opponent if the act is committed as a normal windup or follow through of a shooting motion, or accidental contact on the opposing center who is bent over during the course of a face-off.
A wild swing at a bouncing puck would not be considered a normal windup or follow through and any contact to an opponent above the height of the shoulders shall be penalized accordingly.
That last part of the rule applies to Slavin’s actions on the play.
With Kreider apparently cut on the play, the refs determined it would be a double-minor.
Officials are now able to review major, match, and double-minor penalties for high-sticking. Per Rule 60.3, on a high-sticking situation, they have the ability to confirm the call or eliminate the penalty if the stick is found to be the player’s own stick or one of a teammate. High sticking minors are not eligible for review.
Referees Gord Dwyer and Francois St. Laurent confirmed the call after review.