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NHL Rules Rasmus Andersson Did Not Headbutt Oilers’ Kailer Yamamoto

The NHL Department of Player Safety has fined Rasmus Andersson for roughing, and ruled he did not headbutt Kailer Yamamoto.

Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson should probably consider himself lucky. In what seemed like a clear attempt to headbutt a player, but only wasn’t because his glove snuck in between the two player’s helmets, he’s gotten off with a fine instead of a suspension. Andersson has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for roughing Kailer Yamamoto.

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The game between the Oilers and Flames was quite physical and chippy. It was the first Battle of Alberta back with fans in attendance and both teams were up for the occasion. The two sides were crowding the crease and taking shots at one another and Yamamoto’s run-in with was par for the course until Andersson backed Yamamoto up against the boards and appeared to heabutt him before throwing unanswered punches. He took a double-minor on the play.

The league took a closer look at the play and determined that the actual sequence did not rise to a level of suspension but was out of the bounds of a simply penalty.

Many of the Oilers were asked about the incident after the game. Some said they didn’t see it, others said they figured it was something the NHL would look at. Dave Tippett said, “I’m sure the league will look at it. I looked it. To me it’s a headbutt, but the league will look at it. It is what it is.” Leon Draisaitl said, “Whatever” and noted if the media was asking if Yamamoto was bothered by it, he certainly wasn’t.

Rasmus Andersson Kailer Yamamoto
Rasmus Andersson Kailer Yamamoto

Andersson addressed media on Sunday and denied trying to headbutt the player. “The was no headbutt,” he said. “I got a $5,000 fine for roughing, not a headbutt, so in my opinion, I didn’t try or I didn’t headbutt him.”

The Oilers ended up winning the game 5-2 in a fun contest that included a hat trick by Connor McDavid.

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