NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, Colin Campbell, has confirmed media reports that Capitals' right wing Alex Ovechkin has been fined but will not be suspended for his slew foot of Atlanta's Rich Peverley in the final minute of Washington's 5-4 road victory on Thursday night. Ovechkin was whistled for a two-minute tripping penalty.
The fine comes one day after Anaheim's Evgeni Artyukhin was suspended three games by the League for slew-footing defenseman Matt Niskanen of the Dallas Stars, though no penalty was called on the play. The Ducks' right wing, who loses $34,756.11 in salary, will miss Saturday's game against Columbus, Monday's game against Toronto, and an Oct. 30 contest against Vancouver.
"It is unfair to draw any parallels [about the two slew-foot incidents] other than the players that [Ovechkin and Artyukhin] tripped both fell down," Campbell told NHL.com. "Artyukhin was suspended [for two games] last season for a kneeing incident in which a player was injured. He was also fined during this preseason for slew-footing a player who didn't have the puck. Fast forward three weeks, he, in our opinion, did slew-foot Matt Niskanen, causing Niskanen's skates to fly up well above the boards and half up the glass. It resulted in an injury for Niskanen and he has missed one game so far."
In contrast, Campbell said, Ovechkin is "not a repeat offender" and he was pushing the player's feet out trying to get the puck late in a close game. There was no injury to Peverley.
"We categorize that as a hockey play, but it is dangerous and that is why we fined him," explained Campbell. "And we still don't like either play."