As a result of traveling to St. Louis on Boxing Day, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been fined $100,000 by the NHL for violating the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Article 16.5(b) of the CBA specifically stipulates that teams aren’t allowed to travel during the league-mandated three-day holiday break. The fine money will go to the NHL foundation.
In a separate announcement, the NHL also fined Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe $25,000 for demeaning conduct directed at the officials during Tuesday’s 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues.
Keefe was unhappy with officials after he believed that there was a missed high stick call prior to the Blues' tying fourth goal of the game. Here is a video of the play in question, followed by the Leafs' bench boss giving the referees a piece of his mind.
According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, the Leafs were initially supposed to fly to St. Louis on Dec. 27, just after midnight, but decided to leave at 10:30PM on Dec. 26 instead.
It was an expensive road trip to say the least, but you can’t necessarily fault Toronto’s logic in trying to avoid the perils of a snowstorm that has swept through the area in recent days. At least the Maple Leafs walked away with a victory. William Nylander scored the overtime winner, keeping the Maple Leafs rolling on a three-game winning streak.
This isn’t unprecedented in league history. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reminded us all that the Philadelphia Flyers were also fined $100,000 for the same violation in Dec. 2014.
It’s a small price to pay for the Maple Leafs, but you have to wonder why the NHL would even bother scheduling games this close to Christmas, if it rendered teams able to easily violate the conditions of the collective bargaining agreement. Much to ponder on the plane home, with everyone’s wallets a bit lighter!
The Leafs will visit the Arizona Coyotes for their first-ever game at Mullett Arena on Thursday as they look to extend their good run of form.
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