Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn is the prototypical hockey player. He’s big and strong with a great shot and good hands, and he also can have an aggressive side. Monday evening against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Benn’s temper boiled over late in the third period.
With the Stars trailing the Maple Leafs 3-1 with two minutes remaining in the tilt, Benn set up for an offensive-zone faceoff against Toronto pivot Nazem Kadri. Immediately after the puck was dropped for a faceoff that Kadri won, linesmen began to blow their whistles to retake the draw. That’s when Benn lifted his stick right into Kadri’s groin, drawing the ire of the Maple Leafs center:
What ensued was a brief scuttle between the two teams, but cooler heads prevailed. Neither Benn nor Kadri was taken off the ice or handed a minor penalty, and the biggest punishment was neither center was allowed to remain to take the draw.
Post-game, Kadri said Benn caught him, “in a pretty delicate area,” according to The Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno.
The incident could very well lead to a fine for Benn. While it’s not as outwardly blatant a spear as the one New Jersey Devil Stephen Gionta delivered to Ottawa Senators blueliner Mark Borowiecki, a spear that drew a nearly $2,500 fine, Benn has to be in better control of his stick and it wouldn’t be shocking were he slapped with a financial punishment.
Los Angeles Kings winger Milan Lucic, then with the Boston Bruins, was fined $5,000 for a similar play in 2014 when he speared Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser between the legs in the post-season.