NHL hands down discipline over last night's Marchand-Panarin incident.

The league steps in.

Jonathan Larivee
NHL hands down discipline over last night's Marchand-Panarin incident.

The National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety has issued a ruling that is sure to ruffle a few feathers.

The league announced on Saturday morning that New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin would be fined a whopping $5,000 for "Unsportsmanlike Conduct," the maximum fine allowed under the rules of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. I understand why the league would want to send a message when it comes to throwing objects from one bench to another, but it does seem like a fairly hefty fine for Panarin given the relatively harmless nature of the gesture.

The incident occurred during the 3rd period of Friday's afternoon game between the Rangers and the Boston Bruins, after a trip from Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy had led to a scrum on the ice. As the players on the ice were jostling back and forth, Panarin and Bruins agitator Brad Marchand were having a few words with one another from the bench.

At one point during the verbal exchange between the two men, Panarin began to slip the glove off of his left hand and then proceeded to pick it up and throw it at Marchand. Although Marchand would get his hand up in an attempt to block the glove, it managed to hit him square in the chest.

I don't think anyone believes that Panarin intended to injure Marchand here nor do I think anyone believes Marchand was in any way injured by the glove. That doesn't make it acceptable to throw things at anyone, but it does make me question the severity of the fine he received.

It felt more comical than anything, and following the game Marchand would laugh it off when asked about the incident.

"Yeah that one caught me off guard," said Marchand with a laugh. "I have had a lot of things thrown at me but not typically by players."

Marchand was asked what had been said to set off Panarin, and again he laughed it off.

"We were just asking each other how Thanksgiving dinner was and he didn't like what I ate," said Marchand with a smirk.

Some have wondered if Marchand himself could face a fine given reports today of what was actually said between the 2 men, however there has been no such announcement from the NHL.