BOMBSHELL: Ryan Hartman Fined for Deliberate High-Stick

(Bailey Hillesheim/AP)

The NHL Player Safety Board announced today that it was fining Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman the maximum allowed fine of $4,427.08 for a high-sticking incident that has since been deemed intentional retaliation for superstar forward Kirill Kaprizov’s injury the day before.

The high-sticking happened during the New Year’s Eve game against the Winnipeg Jets. Cole Perfetti’s first shift of the game, only two minutes into the first period, was cut short when Ryan Hartman high-sticked him in the face. Even though the act drew blood and sent Perfetti off of the ice for medical care, Hartman was not called for any penalty.

In an even bigger twist of events, Perfetti told reporters today that he happened to be mic’d up for that game and the mic caught Hartman’s confession that the act was intentional. He told Perfetti that the high-stick was deliberate and payback for Brenden Dillon’s cross-checks during the game on Saturday. Kaprizov is currently out with an upper-body injury and is expected to be out for 1-2 weeks.

Perfetti kept Hartman’s confession to himself until the game was over, not wanting to perpetuate the cycle of retaliation that was already in motion. In Perfetti’s words, Hartman “blatantly said it was for what happened (Saturday), even though I didn’t even do anything in the play.” Perfetti also said that Hartman admitted it in “a respectful way…[and] it had to happen for what happened to Kaprizov.”

After Dillon’s cross-checks on Saturday, Jake Middleton challenged Dillon to a fight. Then, during the back half of their back-to-back the next day, Pat Maroon dropped the gloves with Jets captain Adam Lowry just after the first puck drop of the game.

Hartman is already a highly scrutinized player who plays on the edge of what is and isn’t tolerated. He has been fined seven times in his NHL career and suspended three times.

For more Minnesota Wild news, listen to Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast, which drops multiple times a week with fewer stats and more vibes.

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