Edmonton Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid’s wallet is just a touch lighter on Wednesday as the NHL Department of Player Safety has fined him $5,000 for an elbow to Montreal Canadiens’ forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi. The play took place during a 4-0 loss to Montreal on Tuesday and it was clear McDavid was frustrated with either the Oilers lack of energy or non-calls against him during the contest.
It was clear at the time of the infraction that McDavid was annoyed. He didn’t argue the call and skated straight to the box, knowing at the very least, he had earned two minutes. After the game, social media was lit up with thoughts about the play and responses only got more polarizing at the Department of Player Safety released their ruling.
Some fans called foul on the ruling by the league, suggesting if this was any other player the elbow would have been worth a suspension. Others are arguing the hit wasn’t dirty or malicious. Because it didn’t start at the head and there was no injury they suggest a fine was fair. Some are even suggesting Koktaniemi embellished a bit.
Sid Seizeiro said what many Oilers fans were feeling after seeing people complain: “Connor McDavid’s had to deal with officials not protecting him for years. If he wants to throw an elbow now and again I’m fine with it.” Meanwhile, Josh Yohe of The Athletic wrote: “I agree that the NHL does a horrendous job of protecting its stars. McDavid is often a victim of this. But that needs to be a suspension. That’s intent to injure. Bottom line.”
Polarizing views on a play like this are expected.
When asked about the hit, McDavid said, “I didn’t think anything of it; it was just a normal night.”