Yesterday Mike Giordano found out that he had been fined $10,000 by the NHL for his slew foot against the Dallas Stars earlier in the week. The amount was the maximum amount that the league could seek against the Calgary Flames defender, as Giordano was a first time offender.
In a shortened NHL season where the referees have appeared intent on making themselves factors in every game’s outcome, this has been a refreshing instance of the league getting a call right. The definition of slew footing is a simple one (a player using his feet to knock an opponent’s skates out from under him from behind, for those who didn’t know), and Giordano obviously crossed the line on the play.
As Giordano went into the corner with Antoine Roussel of the Stars, he stuck his right leg out across the back of the knees of Roussel and used his right arm to push the Star backwards onto the ice.
The play could have easily resulted in an injury to Roussel’s legs or ankles had the two possessed more momentum heading towards the boards—he slid into the boards without much force in this instance, but just a bit more umph could have had an uglier result.
Luckily that wasn’t the case here, and only a two minute minor for tripping and a slap-on-the-wrist fine came of the incident.
Slew footing of some degree occurs in every single game, but not to this extent. The NHL did a solid job in nipping this in the bud before other players around the league saw the replay and thought “hey, I can get away with that?”
A suspension would have been far too harsh, but this fine rings true for a punishment system that is typically shaky at best, and foolishly inconsistent at worst.