Rangers' Jacob Trouba fined, not suspended, for Game 3 elbow

May 27, 2024, 2:19 PM

New York Rangers defenseman  Jacob Trouba has been fined $5,000 for elbowing Florida Panthers forward Evan Rodrigues during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday.

It's the maximum fine allowable under the NHL collective bargaining agreement. The money goes to the players' emergency assistance fund.

Trouba has been suspended twice previously in his NHL career, getting two games for elbowing Pavel Dorofeyev of the Vegas Golden Knights in January and two games for an illegal check to the head of Mark Stone, then of the Ottawa Senators, when Trouba was playing for Winnipeg in 2017.

He has been fined three times by the NHL, including earlier this season for high-sticking Trent Frederic of the Boston Bruins.

Trouba was initially given a five-minute major for elbowing at 17:32 of the second period. As Rodrigues skated around the defenseman, Trouba reached out with his elbow extended, appearing to make contact with Rodrigues' head and back. The on-ice officials reviewed the call and lowered it to a minor penalty for elbowing.

Rule 45.3 of the NHL rulebook states: "A major penalty, at the discretion of the Referee, shall be imposed on any player who uses his elbow to illegally check an opponent. A major penalty must be imposed under this rule for an infraction resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent."

Rodrigues was down on the ice after the hit and was tended to by a trainer, but returned for the ensuing Panthers power play that ended the second period. He took regular shifts in the third period.

The decision to not give Trouba a major penalty was a crucial moment in the game, which the Rangers won in overtime to take a 2-1 series lead. Trouba had already received another minor penalty for slashing at the time of the incident, giving Florida four minutes of 5-on-4 power-play time. Had he been given a major, the Panthers would have had five minutes to score an unlimited number of goals plus another two minutes of power-play time after that -- seven straight minutes with the man advantage.

Florida coach Paul Maurice declined to comment on the play after Game 3. "I think I've got enough on my plate," he said.

On Monday, Maurice joked about the amount of the fine.

"Take the hat, pass it around. Poor lad. Poor Jake. He won't be able to eat," the coach said.