Avs forward Nathan MacKinnon could be facing 20-game suspension for slashing ref

Published February 21, 2022 at 4:30 PM

Nathan MacKinnon has made better decisions in his life than this one. On Monday, MacKinnon, upset over the result of a faceoff, delivered a slash to the leg of the official who dropped the puck.

The play occurred after Boston Bruins forward Erik Haula had won a draw that MacKinnon thought may have been unfair, and when the official did not blow the play down to re-do the draw or waive Haula out, MacKinnon delivered the chop. You can see the play below.

Per NHL rules, abuse of an official carries an automatic 20-game suspension, but it is worth noting that there are subsections of the rule that would allow the NHL to suspend MacKinnon for 10 or even 3 games. Needless to say, this one was a pretty clear, purposeful infraction. I'd be surprised to see him get any less than 10 games.

While it's really anyone's guess as to how the NHL will view this, I have a hard time believing that Mack will get less than the 6 games that the league just issued to Brad Marchand for punching and high-sticking Tristan Jarry on February 8th. At least with Marchand, he was targeting a player and not an official. Both dumb decisions, but one was definitely worse than the other.
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