New Jersey forward Taylor Hall has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowed under the CBA, for his boarding penalty against Sabres winger Kyle Okposo in the first period Tuesday night in KeyBank Center.
Hall was only given a minor penalty on the play, perhaps in part because Okposo immediately hopped to his feet and was uninjured. But the league's ruling today clearly indicates the call on the ice should have been a five-minute penalty.
"I wasn't expecting it at all. I absolutely thought it deserved to be a major," Okposo said. "I was in a vulnerable position and didn't know a hit was coming. You're 5 feet from the boards and that is a hit that is five (minutes) every time."
Hall told NHL.com after Tuesday's game he felt that Okposo turned at the last second prior to the hit.
“I just kind of went in and thought it’d be shoulder-on-shoulder but I hit him in the back," Hall said. "Def a 2-min minor, would’ve been iffy if they called it five. It’s a quick game.”
Sabres coach Phil Housley disagreed with that view, saying the fact Hall came directly from behind should have made the hit a major penalty and a game misconduct.
"The thing that was concerning to me is the distance that it come from and that he's looking at the player's numbers when he's going for the puck," Housley said. "Kyle, who is a very strong player, got up right away and that was part of the ruling of the referee. But it's good to see the NHL came forward and recognized it and fined Taylor Hall. I know that's not part of his game but it's still a hit that should have been a five-minute major."