It was a hard sight to watch for Canucks fans.
During the second period of Wednesday night’s match between the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Rangers, Chris Kreider laid a questionable hit on Elias Pettersson, catching him on the head with his elbow.
Here’s the hit from another angle:
The Rangers forward was given a major penalty and a game misconduct.
Pettersson, on the other hand, was slow to get up and was taken to the dressing room after being helped off by the team trainer.
Fortunately, he returned to the bench before the end of the second period.
Pettersson told reporters after the game that he went through concussion protocol and was cleared to return.
“I felt fine, I was only hurting from my nose,” he explained. “I wasn’t worried.”
On Thursday morning, the NHL Department of Player Safety fined Kreider $5,000 — the maximum allowable amount under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Canucks fans on social media, however, are irate that the Rangers forward didn’t see any further discipline.
Regardless of the intent, there was elbow contact to the head — there’s no way around that. Kreider also outweighs Pettersson by a whopping 50-pounds. If nothing else, the hit was careless and could have turned out much worse.
Not to mention, for a player who’s signed to a four-year, $4.6 million contract, a $5,000 fine is equivalent to pocket change. Whether there was intent to injure or not, it’s hardly a consequence and likely won’t make him think twice about the hit.
On the bright side, it seems like the 20-year-old Canucks star is uninjured, simply shaken up.
At least his teammates were quick to step in for him — something that didn’t happen when Pettersson was slammed to the ice by Mike Matheson last October.