The National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety dropped the hammer on yet another Minnesota Wild player on Monday, though fortunately, the punishment won’t cost an already suspension- and injury-shortened bench another roster spot. The NHL announced that forward Nick Bjugstad has been fined $5,000, the maximum amount allowed under the current collective barganing agreement, for a cross check the Wild forward made on Ryan Graves of the Colorado Avalanche.
The offending play occured at the 14:10 mark of the second period during Sunday’s 4-3 overtime win over the Avs. During a goalmouth scrum in front of Colorado netminder Hunter Miska, Bjugstad appeared to retaliate to a check from Graves, making stick contact to Graves’ head. No penalty was called on the play, and Graves was not injured as a result of the play.
Bjugstad’s interaction with the DOPS is the second for the Wild this week after Kevin Fiala was suspended for three games for boarding the Los Angeles Kings’ Matt Roy. Luckily for Minnesota, the punishment will not cost another player. The Wild are already down Matt Dumba and Marcus Johansson due to injury and Marcus Foligno due to COVID-19 protocols, in addition to Fiala.
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