Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
The NHL got this one right.
On Saturday the league announced that the instigator penalty assessed to Calgary Flames defenseman Deryk Engelland during a late line brawl in Game 2 of Calgary’s opening round series against the Vancouver Canucks has been rescinded. As a result Engelland will avoid an automatic suspension and be available to play in Game 3 on Sunday night.
Though the league decided that Engelland’s behaviour didn’t warrant a suspension, and I think most people who watched the game were rather confused when they got a look at how the penalties broke down, the NHL has fined Flames coach Bob Hartley $50,000 dollars for his role in inciting the brawl.
Here’s the full wording on the Harltey release, per NHL.com:
Bob Hartley has been fined $50,000 for his responsibility for the incident that took place with 1:17 remaining in regulation of the first-round playoff game in Vancouver on Friday, April 17, the National Hockey League announced today. The fine was issued in accordance with By-Law 17.3 (a) for conduct prejudicial to or against the welfare of the League.
The NHL news release also referenced the Vancouver incident from last season – the one which effectively ended the John Tortorella era in Vancouver – for which Hartley was fined $25,000.
Engelland, 33, has averaged over 20 minutes in the first two games of the series and his efforts filling in for injured Flames captain Mark Giordano in a top-four role have been key.
That the veteran defender will still be in the lineup for Sunday is actually a pretty big deal for Calgary, particularly because Dennis Wideman appears to be banged up a bit and it’s abundantly clear that that Hartley doesn’t trust David Schlemko or Corey Potter.