News broke this afternoon that Josh Morrissey has been fined $8,467.74 for his hit on Washington’s T.J. Oshie.
Winnipeg’s Josh Morrissey has been fined $8,467.74, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for unsportsmanlike conduct on Washington’s T.J. Oshie.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) November 15, 2018
In case you missed the game and the subsequent hit, here is the play that led to the fine.
— Michael Remis (@mremis) November 15, 2018
There were two main camps that broke out after the hit happened, those who thought the hit was identical to Matheson’s a few weeks ago, and those who saw some differences. There were yet others who didn’t think anything of the hit as it appeared to be a normal hockey play to some people. The hit wasn’t a big talking point after the game and plenty of people are surprised that Player Safety even looked at it.
Exactly same play https://t.co/xwDX9YbrVx
— Ray Ferraro (@rayferrarotsn) November 15, 2018
In my opinion, the Matheson and Morrissey hits are quite different. Matheson’s hit was fuelled by anger. He had previously been beat by Pettersson and was enacting revenge as he took him out along the boards. In Matheson’s hit, he also throws Pettersson towards the ice to maximize the ferocity whereas Morrissey is falling with Oshie as they hit the ice together.
There is no doubt that Morrissey was trying to throw Oshie to the ground, he just does it with much less power and malicious intent than Matheson.
Regardless, Morrissey got a call from Player Safety today and the decision was to hand out a fine and not a suspension. As far as the team is concerned, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Morrissey won’t miss any games. With the left side of the defense already thin with Kulikov getting injured earlier this week the Jets can’t afford to have someone like Morrissey miss any time.
The only positive about Morrissey’s potential suspension was that Jets fans might have seen Sami Niku make his season debut after getting called up after Kulikov’s injury. The Jets might still work Niku into a game but his chances of seeing action are fairly slim as both Chiarot and Morrow have been regulars in the lineup this season.
Lastly, this ruling comes as a surprise to some, but I think it’s in line with previous rulings. The Matheson hit was more dangerous and predatory while Morrissey’s was not as severe. The hit likely deserved to be looked at, and the decision should have been either a fine or a one game suspension. Given the importance of Morrissey to the Jets, coming away with a fine is a great outcome.