Nathan MacKinnon gets away with one, will not be suspended for slashing linesman

nathan mackinnon
Jan 15, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon was under scrutiny for slashing an official in the team’s loss to the Boston Bruins on Monday.

According to a statement released by the NHL on Tuesday, there will be no discipline on MacKinnon for hitting a linesman during the game against Boston. They ruled the Avalanche forward intended to slash a Bruins player instead.

MacKinnon gets lucky

The incident occurred in the third period of the game after the Bruins scored to make it 5-1. MacKinnon lost the ensuing faceoff to Boston’s Tomas Nosek and took a swing at him but hit linesman Michel Cormier instead.

“Last night, one of our officials was struck by a player with his stick immediately after a face-off,” the league said in a statement. “We immediately investigated the incident and, having conferred with the on-ice officiating crew and the NHL Officials’ Association, it has been determined the player’s intention was not to strike the official, but, rather, to initiate contact with the opposing player. Given this conclusion, it has been determined that no further discipline is necessary.”

The NHL added that its ruling “should in no way be seen as a diminution of our steadfast conviction to protect our officials.”

So did MacKinnon get away with one here? Some feel he did, especially considering back in 2017 Antoine Vermette was given a 10 game ban for doing something similar.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report.