In its first year of operation, the NHL Department of Player Safety punished four players for slashing opponents, each time handing them a $2,500 fine. The tradition continues this season, as Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the San Jose Sharks has been fined for this slashing incident against Dany Heatley of the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night:
From the NHL:
San Jose Sharks defenseman has been fined $8,378.38, the maximum allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for slashing Minnesota Wild forward Dany Heatley in NHL Game No. 542 in San Jose on Wednesday, April 3, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 20:00 of the third period. Vlasic was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for slashing.
A review of the incident that included a conversation with the Minnesota Wild confirmed that Heatley suffered an injury in an ensuing scrum and not as a result of Vlasic’s slash.
As a first-time offender, the maximum Vlasic could be fined was the lesser of $10,000 or one-half of his daily salary. The fine money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund
Vlasic slashed Heatley across the top of the back. Heatley got up and tried to connect with his stick and missed. Vlasic then two-handed Heatley across the forearm and jumped him. Vlasic got the shirt over top Heatley’s head, lifted him and then violently one-last time drove him down to the ice. That appears to be when Heatley got hurt. He skated to the exit in pain.
The dueling slashes make this a tricky incident for the NHL, as Heatley’s wild hatchet job could be seen as an extreme response to Vlasic’s cross-check. But a fine is fine.