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Mark Fistric Fined; Will Not Be Suspended

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From Mark Stepneski:

Mark Fistric was not suspended for hitting Eric Nystrom with a helmet during a fight in last night’s game. He was fined $2,500. He said after practice it was an accident and was relieved there was no suspension.

This is a fairly interesting outcome. Last night, after seeing the replays most of us were convinced he would be suspended and especially after receiving a match penalty for intent to injure. My guess is that a couple of major pieces factored into this decision:

  • No prior record
  • No injury from the hit.
  • It appeared as if the strap was caught on his hand and he swung anyway. This isn't a player grabbing a helmet and whacking him him with it, this was just an instantaneous screw up.
  • The fact that 'intention' cannot be proven in this case.
  • Eric Nystrom started the whole thing after a clean check.

Is it right? Probably not. The fact that Fistric missed most of the game and the Flames scored twice on the ensuing power plays probably helped him avoid suspension as well.

Your thoughts?