Arizona Coyotes defenseman Juuso Valimaki delivered a slash that cost him some ice time. Now it’s also cost him some cash.
Valimaki has been fined $4,189.19 for slashing Anaheim Ducks forward Max Jones. The illegal stickwork came 3:20 into the second period when the two teams met on January 24.
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) January 25, 2023
Referees Chris Rooney and Peter MacDougall issued a major penalty and a game misconduct to Valimaki on the play.
Here’s Rule 61:
Slashing is the act of a player swinging his stick at an opponent, whether contact is made or not. … Any forceful or powerful chop with the stick on an opponent’s body, the opponent’s stick, or on or near the opponent’s hands that, in the judgment of the Referee, is not an attempt to play the puck, shall be penalized as slashing.
Referees may issue a minor or major penalty, depending on the severity of the contact; a major penalty for slashing also requires a game misconduct. The officials can hand out a match penalty – which also includes an ejection – if there is deliberate attempt to injure.
We’re in agreement with the penalty call and glad to see a fine on the play. While the whack may not have been particularly devastating, it was away from the play and had nothing to do with the puck. We’d be okay with stepping up supplemental discipline on plays like this, where it’s a non-hockey play and one where the only intent — and outcome — is to injure an opponent.
If the NHL wants to clean up the nonsense and dangerous extracurriculuars away from the puck, the best way would be to ramp up the severity of punishments. Hit ’em with a $4000 fine might raise an eyebrow, but sideline them for a game or two, and players and coaches will certainly take notice.