The NHL fined Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon Prust $5,000 after his blatant spear to Boston Bruins agitator Brad Marchand. The play happened with less than two minutes to go in last night’s blow-out 4-0, Vancouver loss. Marchand wasn’t anywhere near the puck when he was jolted in the groin, whle Prust received a 10-minute misconduct for the play.
Spearing isn’t technically a suspendable offence as the NHL says ” There are no specified fines or suspensions for spearing, however, supplementary discipline can be applied by the Commissioner at his discretion.”
Prust seemed pretty happy with himself after the game, saying the fine was the “best money I’ve ever spent.”
“I kind of thought that’s what would happen, I mean it wasn’t that hard and he sold it pretty good,” Prust told Sportsnet. “I saw him laughing on the bench after so I don’t think he’s too hurt.”
Online reaction had tons of
idiots fans cheering Marchand getting speared.
Brandon Prust can spear Marchand a 1000x and I'd cheer every time.
— Brett Nesbitt (@penguins8766) December 6, 2015
Brandon Prust was fined $5000 for spearing Brad Marchand. I'll gladly chip in and help pay it.
— Shaun Blight (@shauntzyB) December 6, 2015
Brad Marchand deserved that last night. Sorry not sorry. #Canucks
— Jovan Heer (@DJHeerMusic) December 6, 2015
Marchand is known himself for being a dirty player, but no player ever deserves to get hurt – especially intentionally. It’s inexcusable, no matter who gets speared.
A big problem here is Prust is saying $5,000 is a worthy cost to spear opposing players, which is what the NHL is trying to prevent with the penalty in the first place. $5,000 is nothing to Prust, as he’s earning $2 million in salary this year. The amount encourages him, and is probably a justifiable trade off for getting a shot in at Marchand.
As the Department of Player Safety outlines, $5,000 is the maximum amount of a player can be fined by the NHL under the current CBA, which doesn’t expire until after the 2021-22 season.
Players may be fined up to 50% of one day’s average salary without exceeding $10,000 for the first fine and $15,000 for any subsequent fines within a 12 month calendar period.
It’s why Stephen Gionta only got fined $2,284.95 for this spear to Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki.
Or why St. Louis Blues enforcer Ryan Reaves only got fined $3,024.19 for roughing L.A. Kings star Anze Kopitar.
Seven NHL players have been fined a total $23,693.55 this year, which is a staggeringly low amount given their salaries.
Not every finable offence is worthy of a huge penalty, such as a diving infraction, but when a player like Prust goes out of his way to spear someone, then admits publicly it’s worth the small cost, that’s a problem, right?
These infractions are supposed to be discouraged, and the NHL is basically giving players the all-clear to spear whoever they want, as long as they’re willing to pay the small cost. It’s a shitty rule, that’s not going to change anytime soon.