The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers combined for 70 penalty minutes – and $10,000 in fines, to Alex Killorn and Adam Fox – from Wednesday night’s game.

Referees Chris Rooney and Tom Chmielewski kept the whistles going, with ten minor penalties, four pairs of fighting majors, and a game misconduct all going up on the board.  Over twelve minutes of the game were played with a man advantage to one team or the other, with the Rangers going 2-for-5 and Tampa 1-for-3 on the power play.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has followed up to hand out a pair of fines from Wednesday’s action.


Rangers’ Fox Fined $5000 for Slashing Bolts’ Perry

Players from both teams came together after goaltender Igor Shesterkin covered the puck. It was one of many scrums throughout the tightly-contested affair. Defenseman Adam Fox took particular exception in this situation, jabbing Tampa’s Corey Perry with his stick.

Perry went down.  Fox went to the box with a minor penalty for slashing.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has tacked on a $5000 tab for the illegal stickwork.



While it’s good to see this penalized, if we’re going by the letter of the law, both the officials and Player Safety got it wrong. That was no slash.  That looked like a spear.

From Rule 62:

Spearing shall mean stabbing an opponent with the point of the stick blade, whether contact is made or not.

A double-minor penalty will be imposed on a player who spears an opponent and does not make contact.

A major penalty shall be imposed on a player who spears an opponent. Whenever a major penalty is assessed
for spearing, a game misconduct penalty must also be imposed.

A match penalty shall be imposed on a player who injures an opponent as a result of a spear.

Slashing is slightly different. Instead of a ‘jab’ with the movement parallel to the shaft of the stick, a slash is more of a swinging motion.

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.

Slashing penalties may be a minor or major, depending on the severity of the slash.

If officials are hesitant to hand out a major penalty in these situations – and historically, they are, as these are typically given slashing minors –  perhaps we need to revisit the rulebook. A spear and a slash are distinctly different.

This is the second time in the past month that Tampa’s Corey Perry has drawn a stick in the midsection that resulted in disciplinary action from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.  That one was ruled a spear.

We’d get another example – also resulting in a fine – minutes later.


Lightning’s Killorn Fined $5000 for Slashing Rangers’ Shesterkin

Tampa Bay’s Brandon Hagel cut the Rangers’ lead to 4-3 midway through the second period. He made a play on a loose puck in the crease, flipping the puck up and into New York goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who was moving backwards. While the goaltender stopped the puck, it had already completely crossed the goal line.

Correctly, there was no goaltender interference call on the play; while Hagel’s stick may have contacted Shesterkin’s pad, it appeared to be incidental contact during a battle for a loose puck in the crease, which would make it a legal goal under Rule 69.7.

Play continued, with no signal from the officials. Shesterkin scooted forward as Killorn crashed the net, driving his stick between the goalie’s legs and knocking him into the net.  Also not a slash.

New York’s Ryan Lindgren and Tampa’s Anthony Cirelli picked up matching roughing minors on the ensuing fracas, while Killorn was whistled for a slashing minor, putting the Rangers on the power play. He’s now also $5000 poorer.



Neither spearing slashing victim was injured on either play.

Both fines are the maximum permitted under the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement without a formal hearing.



NHL Suspension/Fine Tracker 2022-23