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Dreger: Unlikely the NHL will continue to publicize fines

Darren Dreger
10/20/2010 11:00:07 PM
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Suspensions in the National Hockey League are always announced by the NHL's Hockey Operations department. Fines, on the other hand may surface a day or two after they've been levied or even slide entirely under the radar simply because the NHL doesn't - as a matter of policy - announce fines. 

Last week, Colin Campbell, broke with that policy and issued a press release, announcing Ottawa's Nick Foligno had been fined the league maximum, $2500 for his blindside hit on Carolina's Patrick Dwyer.

It took a media report to reveal Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta had been fined twice for incidents in a game versus the New Jersey Devils where Kaleta, first received a charging penalty after hitting the Devils' Mark Fraser, and later attempted to head-butt Travis Zajac. Another media report revealed Edmonton's Tom Gilbert has been fined for a head hit on Matt Stajan.

To publicly acknowledge fines isn't likely to become normal practice in the NHL anytime soon, although, that possibility has been discussed.

It's believed the NHL will argue the merits of applying a much stiffer fine structure when the league and union get into negotiating the specifics of the next collective bargaining agreement.

However, until that happens it's unlikely the NHL will continue to publicize fines, even though every player fined becomes a target as a "repeat offender", so if the offending player commits a similar foul within an 18 month period, he's more likely to encur a multiple game suspension. 

At the moment, the limited financial penalty, combined with the added responsibility of addressing all fine related media inquiries following disciplinary announcements, is enough to discourage the NHL from routinely publicizing fines.

Darren Dreger

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