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Wild Forward Kevin Fiala Suspended Three Games After Boarding Incident

The NHL Department of Player Safety NHL has handed down it’s first stiff suspension , sitting Wild forward Kevin Fiala for three games.

The Department of Player Safety for the NHL has handed down it’s first fairly stiff penalty of the 2020-21 NHL season, suspending Minnesota Wild forward Kevin Fiala for three games after his boarding penalty last night on Matt Roy of the Los Angeles Kings.

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As the DOPS always does, they put together a detailed video to accompany the ruling. Their explanation notes:

It is important to note Fiala is entirely in control of how this play develops. From the time the puck is dumped in, he sees nothing but Roy’s numbers. This is not a case of a player turning his back immediately prior to contact in a way that turns a legal body check into an illegal one.

While we acknowledge Fiala’s assertion that he did not intend to cause Roy’s impact with the boards, the contact is delivered at high speed and at a dangerous distance from the boards. The onus is on Fiala to create a new angle of approach that allows him to deliver this hit legally, avoid the hit entirely, or at the very least minimize the contact to ensure this is not a dangerous play.

Fiala has not been suspended previously, which factored into the number of games handed out, but Roy did suffer an injury on the play and was forced to leave the game. As expected, reactions to the suspension are divided, with some saying this is the right call and others saying it’s stiff considering it might not have been intentional.

Regardless, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet tweets that Fiala will forfeit $77,586 in salary for the suspension.

Fiala’s Timing Not Ideal for Wild

Fiala will miss three straight games against the Colorado Avalanche, which is equates to incredibly bad timing for the Wild. The Avs are one of the best teams in the NHL and Fiala one of the Wild’s more dangerous offensive weapons. Minnesota is directly behind Colorado in standings, both teams with 10 points.

Kevin Fiala Boarding penalty Minnesota Wild

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