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Connor McDavid levied maximum fine for headshot on Canadiens' Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Justin Cuthbert
·1 min read
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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:

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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?

Connor McDavid avoided suspension for his hit on Canadiens' Jesperi Kotkaniemi. (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Connor McDavid avoided suspension for his hit on Canadiens' Jesperi Kotkaniemi. (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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. 

But, hey. 

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