Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Mikhail Sergachev is a little lighter in the wallet today after being fined for a sucker punch to Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland.
The NHL has fined Sergachev $5,000, which is the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for roughing. Sergachev, who signed an eight-year, $68 million contract last summer, won’t have any trouble paying it off.
The money will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 13, 2023
Initially, Sergachev got away with the punch landed with 41 seconds left in last night’s game in Tampa, as it went unpenalized. It was a big missed call, as the Canucks were pressing for the tying goal, and were already on the power play. A Sergachev penalty in that moment would have allowed the Canucks to go 6-on-3 in the final 41 seconds, and perhaps start overtime with a 4-on-3 power play.
Vancouver went on to lose the game 5-4.
The punch was not unprovoked, however, as Garland poked at Andrei Vasilevskiy after he already had control of the puck. Garland seemed to recognize that fact, judging by this quote he gave Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre.
Canuck Conor Garland said Mikhail Sergachev waited for him after game Thursday to explain the punch and make sure he was OK.
Garland: “It hurt at the time, but I was fine. I’ve played like a rat since I was 16, so I’m used to it.”
— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) January 13, 2023
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