Player Safety comes down on Barzal for “high-sticking” DeAngelo.

Player Safety comes down on Barzal for “high-sticking” DeAngelo.

New York Islanders forward Mat Barzal is in the crosshairs of Player Safety after taking a whack at Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo.

Jonathan Larivee

New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal will be feeling a little lighter in the pocket today courtesy of the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety.

On Sunday, Player Safety announced that Barzal would be hit with a $5,000 fine, the maximum allowed under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, after Barzal took a whack at the head of Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Anthony Deangelo.

The league fined Barzal under the "high-sticking" rule but I think most observers, and especially DeAngelo himself, would agree it was a bit more than just a high stick. The incident in question took place in the early moments of the second period when DeAngelo bumped Barzal off the puck as the two men were battling for it. This would cause Barzal to spin around and swing his stick into the head of an unsuspecting DeAngelo.

While the fine will barely make a dent in the income of a player like Barzal, he will now be considered a repeat offender under NHL rules should he find himself in the crosshairs of Player Safety again in the next 18 months.