It isn't nothing. But it basically is.
The NHL's Department of Player Safety has dropped a maximum (yes, maximum) $5,000 fine on Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid for his very unnecessary, and very late, blow to the head on Jesperi Kotkaniemi in Tuesday's 4-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
As the NHL's highest-paid performer, McDavid will forfeit 0.04 percent of his salary for the infraction, which many fans believed deserved a suspension.
Here's the knock, via Twitter user @ScottMatla:
Whether or not you believe the high elbow deserved any punishment at all, this is a shining example of the limitations of the league's disciplinary framework. The league's "maximum" fine, in this case, literally amounts to a cup of coffee for all players, let alone ones pacing the league's earning chart.
Not that we should expect McDavid to be a problematic repeat offender, but how is this form of punishment going to deter anything moving forward?
On the flip side, if McDavid was suspended for even a single game for the blow, which, again, was possible, he would lose out on in excess of $100,000, as it's connected to his annual earnings.
Clearly there is a need for some middle ground in order to appropriately punish, and therefore hopefully better control the wide range of indiscretions seen over the course of an NHL season.
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