Fraser: A look at Subban's high stick on Pageau

Kerry Fraser
5/6/2013 3:25:44 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at!

Hey Kerry, big fan of the column!
In Sunday's Canadiens-Senators game, Jean-Gabriel Pageau broke in on a breakaway and received a high stick in the face while scoring a goal. P.K. Subban, the offending Montreal player, was subsequently penalized for high sticking after knocking out Pageau's tooth.
I thought only a goal or a penalty could be assessed on each play and not both? Shouldn't the penalty have been disallowed when the goal was scored? Any insight would be appreciated.
John Chamberland,
Saint Paul, Alberta


When a double minor penalty is to be assessed for specific infractions of the rules and a goal is scored only one minor penalty is eliminated while the other is assessed.

This application is found in Rule 15.3 (Calling a Double-minor Penalty - Goal Scored) - When a the penalty to be imposed is applicable under Rule 47 for Head-butting (attempted) or Rule 58 Butt-ending (attempted), Rule 60 High-sticking (injury) or Rule 62 Spearing (attempted), and a goal is scored, two minutes of the appropriate penalty will be assessed to the offending player. (This will be announced as a double-minor for the appropriate foul and the player will serve two (2) minutes only.)

This is exactly what the Referee assessed when PK Subban's high-stick resulted in injury to Jean-Gabriel Pageau (cut below lip; tooth loss=double minor) as the Sens rookie fired the puck past Carey Price for his first goal of the 'hatty'.

What you might have been thinking of John is Rule 15.2 which provides a team relief of one minor penalty on the scoring of a goal. (15.2—If the penalty to be imposed is a minor penalty and a goal is scored on the play by the non-offending side, the minor penalty shall not be imposed but major and match penalties shall be imposed in the normal manner regardless of whether or not a goal is scored.)

In a situation where two or more penalties (multiple players) were to be imposed and a goal is scored on the play by the non-offending side, the Captain will designate which minor penalty will be washed out as a result of the scoring of the goal.

Not to muddy the waters and totally confuse you John, but let me point out another unique and unusual situation for future reference should it occur. If, while a team is short-handed by reason of one or more minor penalties and a signaled penalty shot is to be awarded, but before the Referee can stop play the non-offending team scores a goal, then the signaled penalty (which would have resulted in a penalty shot) is assessed as a minor (double minor, major or match if applicable) and the first of the minor penalties already being served automatically terminates. 

To keep it simple just remember that a team can only receive relief for one minor penalty when a goal is scored against them.

I provide you with some rapid fire thoughts from games and suspensions this weekend:

Toronto-Boston: Dion Phaneuf hit on Daniel Paille; As Dion stepped up to execute a straight-up open-ice hit on Paille a the center red line, Daniel lowered his posture (head) slightly as he received the puck which contributed to some contact to his head by Phaneuf's shoulder. The illegal part of check was when Phaneuf left his feet to make the check resulting in a missed charging infraction.

Detroit-Anaheim: Justin Abdelkader launch/elbow on Toni Lydman; Given Eric Gryba's two game suspension on Lars Eller for a good open-ice check that ended with a terrible result, I thought Abdelkader would be fortunate if he received anything less than 5 games for his deliberate jump and elbow to the head/neck area of Lydman. While fortunately Lydman didn't bleed profusely as a result of the hit it is reported he is suffering from migraine headaches and neck trauma.

Washington-NY Rangers: Karl Alzner puck-over-glass ruled a deflection; 63.2 says a minor penalty shall be imposed when any player, while in his defending zone shoots or bats (using his hand or his stick) the puck directly (non-deflected) the puck outside the playing surface, except where there is no glass.

Karl Alzner used an active, saucer-back stick blade to stab at the moving puck. This does not constitute a "bat" or a "shot" but instead is to be ruled a deflection. The Officials interpreted the rule correctly though a committee meeting on the ice at the time even though they got little support for the call other than from C'mon Ref. Their interpretation is what was handed to the Officials when the rule was placed in the book when I was in the room (think of baseball bat swing folks). The confusion on this call is as a result of very inconsistent application of the rule by the Officials that has eroded over time. The intended standard and application of the rule has deteriorated to as Pierre McGuire called it, "Shifting sand." The crew in Wash got all three calls right when the puck left the rink!

Pittsburgh-NY Islanders: Brian Strait holding penalty in OT; Sidney Crosby had Brian Strait cleanly beaten as he used a power turn with the puck in the corner to take the lead lane on a direct path to the net. Strait took one hand off his stick and grabbed Crosby from behind to restrain the best player in the world. The Referee delayed his decision and the raising of his arm to make sure that a legitimate infraction had been committed in OT.

In games where we have seen too many missed or avoided calls I commend Referee Tim Peel for making this one at a crucial time in the game.

Montreal-Ottawa: Timeout with 18 seconds remaining; I don't blame Coach Paul McLean one bit for calling time out to pull his players back toward the neutral zone for player safety reasons given the previous attacks initiated by the Montreal players. I would have gone one step further and not even sacrificed a center to take the draw but instead lined all the players in the neutral zone. The Linesman has the authority to drop the puck, as we have seen occur, when one center is slow coming into the face-off circle when instructed to do so! I also can understand why Coach Michel Therrien was so visibly upset and interpreted McLean's timeout as a show of disrespect. Who can blame the Montreal Coach for not wanting to endure an additional 30 seconds behind the bench on this particular night?

As a result of the hostilities that have boiled over in this series (slashes, elbows, brawling, puck deliberately shot at a player) I so wish I was able to return to active duty and Referee Game 4 in Ottawa. 

Kerry Fraser

Kerry Fraser

Kerry Fraser is an analyst for the NHL on TSN and That's Hockey 2Nite on TSN2. As one of the league's most recognizable senior referees, he's worked 1,904 NHL regular season games and 261 playoff games during his 37-year career.

Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at!

You can also follow Kerry Fraser on Twitter at @kfraserthecall!

Follow Us!

There's a new Twitter feed that will make you a real insider! Follow to get updates on the latest blogs, best videos and more!

More about TSN on Twitter...

Cabbie on

New York-bred hip hop artist Action Bronson discusses his friendship with Kevin Love, his jumpshot, Mike Napoli's beard, obscure sports references and Derek Jeter's Brand Jordan commercial. More...

He has speed in his DNA, learn more about Olympic champion Donovan Bailey's nephew, Jaden and his success on the gridiron in the latest Powerade 24. More...

© 2017
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television