Player Safety comes down on Clifford for hitting Perry on the head with the butt end of his stick

Published April 22, 2022 at 1:20 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI
During Thursday evening's 8-1 drubbing of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Tampa Bay Lightning drew the worst out of the Leafs, testing their patience at every turn. There were a total of 118 minutes in penalties assessed during the game, with four Leafs finishing the game with penalties minutes in double digits.

Veteran winger Kyle Clifford didn't finish the game with the Leafs, as he earned himself a 5-minute major and match penalty for "high-sticking" Corey Perry. You can see the play here:


With Clifford being ejected on Thursday, the play-by-play team announced that it would be unlikely that Clifford would face any supplemental discipline on the play. They were wrong. On Friday, the NHL's Department of Player Safety slapped Clifford with a $2,500 fine for high-sticking, the maximum allowable under the current CBA.



Honestly, it wasn't a hockey play. That's true. But it was far from harmful. Was it unsportsmanlike? Sure. But it's not as if he targeted someone who wasn't asking for it. Perry was in the thick of it and had engaged with Clifford after the play. I'm all for issuing fines for people who deserve it, but this one is sort of ridiculous.
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