While no Canucks aside from Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes played particularly well in Game One, Micheal Ferland at least made sure he was noticeable.
That began with a needless fight less than two minutes into the game. You don’t really want to see a guy who’s missed the entire season with concussions drop the gloves, and he was lucky to come out with less blood on his face after all was said and done.
Awesome to see Micheal Ferland back healthy, and back to doing what he does.— Alex Ohári ⚪️ (@FutureCanes) August 3, 2020
Spirited scrap here early in the game, and left Marcus Foligno with a cut on his nose. pic.twitter.com/SqQ5IRNo22
In the third period, Ferland found himself involved in shenanigans again. In this incident, Wild forward Luke Kunin grabbed Ferland’s stick while the burly winger was skating by the Wild bench. Ferland looked back, pulled the stick away, and speared the wrong Wild player when he drove his stick right into Ryan Hartman’s gut.
Today, the NHL announced that both Ferland and Kunin have been fined for their actions in the incident. Ferland was fined the maximum allowable $5,000 for spearing Hartman, and Kunin was fined $1,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Perhaps some in Minnesota might be surprised that Ferland wasn’t suspended for the incident, but I don’t think the lack of a suspension should come as a surprise.
Based on the fact that Kunin was fined as well means that the NHL acknowledges that he was the instigator in this situation. Also, as ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski points out, the NHL usually doesn’t fine players for spearing unless they are repeat offenders.
“The NHL Department of Player Safety has typically handed out fines rather than suspensions for spearing,” Wyshynski writes. “In the past nine incidents that received supplemental discipline, only two earned a suspension: Brad Marchand was suspended two games in April 2017 for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin, and Matthew Tkachuk was suspended one game in December 2017 for spearing Toronto’s Matt Martin from the bench. In both cases, the players were considered repeat offenders under the department’s guidelines.”
Ferland came into the play-in as one of the most noteworthy Canucks on the roster. He ripped through the second week of training camp to earn himself a spot in the line-up, and he was on the ice for the Canucks lone goal scored in the exhibition tilt against Winnipeg.
On Sunday night, Ferland played 11:40 and had one scoring chance, five hits, and seven penalty minutes.