There’s been a large to-do recently about discipline in the NHL, from Shea Weber’s fine to Matt Carkner and Carl Haglen’s suspensions. There’s no consistency in discipline, especially when so much of it is based off of whether someone is injured or not. There’s no punishing the intent, rather, there’s punishing of the outcome.
The intent here was to embarrass a New York Rangers player while they were giving a TV interview. The outcome was Zenon Konopka getting popped with a $2500 fine (yes, just as much as Shea Weber got for slamming Henrik Zetterberg’s face into the glass) and the Ottawa Senators getting a bill for $10,000… for chirping. Keep in mind, that none of this would be a fine had it not happened on national television. From the NHL:
NEW YORK — Ottawa Senators forward Zenon Konopkahas been fined $2,500, the maximum allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and his club fined $10,000 for Konopka’s conduct prior to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Final at New York on Saturday. April 14, the National Hockey League announced today.
Konopka was fined for his verbal abuse directed at a New York Rangersplayer conducting a live television interview nearby during pre-game warm-ups.
The Konopka fine money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, while the club fine goes to the NHL Foundation.
Basically, the message is this: it’s perfectly acceptable to mortify the league via terrible discipline that turns games into a joke (for example, Sunday’s Penguins/Flyers game). Two thirds of what happened Sunday could have been avoided had the refs just done their jobs. It’s also all right to slam people’s faces into glass Smackdown-style. By God, though, it’s not acceptable to chirp someone on broadcast television with words that no one’s either paying attention to, or people forget the second they’re said. It’s also just as bad to attempt to injure someone as it is to drop a f-bomb.
Message recieved loud and clear.