Good news for Minnesota Wild forward Brad Staubitz and coach Todd Richards’ wallet: Michael Russo reports that the NHL decided to rescind an instigator penalty handed to the rough and tumble forward late in the team’s win against the Edmonton Oilers last night.
That means that Staubitz will not be forced to sit out tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames because of an automatic suspension and Richards won’t need to pay a $10,000 fine for placing him on the ice in a late game situation.
Russo explains that the league rescinded the penalty for two reasons. The first reason is that the rule was intended to stop teams from sending out goons to cause havoc in the late stages of games that are clearly a lost cause, so the spirit of the rule doesn’t really apply considering the fact that Minnesota was up 4-1. Russo also points out the fact that the referees could have done more about some on-ice altercations that happened before Staubitz fought J-F Jacques.
Staubitz isn’t a crucial player to Minnesota, but it’s nice to hear that he will be rightfully allowed to play in the game. Say what you will about some of the NHL’s policies, at least the league can occasionally admit when officials were wrong.
From the “not that it really matters now” files: the NHL rescinded the major penalty incorrectly given to Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang in last night’s game against the New York Islanders. Here is the report, via Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The National Hockey League has rescinded the major penalty that Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was assessed for a hit on New York Islanders forward Blake Comeau during the Penguins’ 3-2 overtime victory at the Consol Energy Center Friday night.
Letang got the major and a game misconduct for purportedly hitting Comeau in the head, a ruling the NHL overturned after reviewing replays of the incident.
Of course, unless Penguins GM Ray Shero manages to acquire a DeLorean, this announcement is little more than a formalized “my bad” from the league.
The Penguins still were forced to kill a five-minute major penalty, but luckily for the league and the Penguins, they ended up winning the game in overtime anyway. Considering Pittsburgh’s early season struggles, losing that game could have been a big blow and many of the team’s whiniest fans would probably cite that in conspiracy theories in the same way that they immortalize Max Talbot’s hand motions.
Letang is playing in tonight’s game anyway (which is currently tied 1-1 in the first intermission), so it’s all frozen water under the bridge, I’d say.