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Steve Downie says he was fined for leaving bench to fight

Steve Downie

According to Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times, Lightning forward Steve Downie says he’s been fined by NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan for leaving the bench to enter a fracas Thursday against the Rangers.

The incident in question occurred after New York center Artem Anisimov did the ol’ “point gun and shoot” celebration at the expense of the Lightning:

You can see Downie leave the Tampa Bay bench at the 4:15 mark. Even though he jumps on the ice with the apparent intention of going after Anisimov, it’s been determined Downie was going for a (legal) line change.

“It’s what I expected,” Downie said after he and Bolts GM Steve Yzerman spoke with Shanahan. “It is what it is. You’ve got to respect the decision. It’s not my call but I expect what he did and what he said.”

Downie didn’t say how much the fine was, but the maximum allowable is $2,500.

It should be noted this ruling is in lockstep with ex-referee Kerry Fraser’s explanation (courtesy TSN):

Tampa was entitled to have five players on the ice with Brett Connolly clearly at the players bench and his substitute, Steve Downie slow in placing his skate blades on the ice with the scoring of Anisimov’s goal. When play stopped with the scoring of the goal Tampa was likewise entitled to place 5 players on the ice.

There is certainly some onus on Steve Downie and should not absolve him from getting involved in an altercation that was in progress when he finally bolted from his replacement position sitting on top of the boards. As such, I believe that Brendan Shanahan is justified in invoking supplementary discipline to fine Steve Downie for becoming involved in the altercation and receiving a minor penalty on the play. I see it as a minor offense and certainly not a 10-game suspension.

Downie received a two-minute roughing minor and a 10-minute misconduct for his actions.