Alex Pietrangelo May Face 10-Game Suspension Depending on Rule Review

Austin Kelly
June 11, 2023  (5:40 PM)

A decision by Alex Pietrangelo at the end of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals could have major, and long-term consequences.

Pietrangelo could face a ten-game suspension based on NHL rules

Alex Pietrangelo had left the Penalty box at the end of the Golden Knights Game 4 matchup vs the Panthers, after an end-of-game attempt by Florida for a goal turned into a shoving match, and progressed further into a full-blown fight.
Pietrangelo, who was penalized prior, and was still in the box when time expired, exited during the fight, joining his teammates on the ice. This decision may be one that the NHL could take seriously, depending on the legal definitions of a specific NHL rule.

What does the NHL rulebook say about this situation?

Twitter quickly pointed out a rule from the NHL rulebook, Rule 70:4, that has guidelines on what happens if a player exits the box to engage in a fight.
«At the stoppage of a play following the expiration of their penalties, if a player or players exiting the Penalty bench get involved in an altercation, those coming from the Penalty bench shall be assessed a the penalties they incur in the altercation in addition to a ten (10) game suspension"

This could indicate that 10 games maximum is the worst discipline Pietrangelo can face if it's decided he broke this specific rule, although the wording of the rules may have questions over it's interpretation.

Did Pietrangelo Break The Rule?

First and foremost, the writing itself appears to be focused on an in-play stoppage, as opposed to Pietrangelo exiting the box at the end of the game. If the NHL feels that Pietrangelo was allowed to leave the box with the game ended, then it can be argued that the 10 game suspension is not warranted under the rule.
Another argument that can be made is further in the passage, in which the rule states that the player shall not receive a 10 game suspension if the opposing team, Florida, is found to be the aggressor.
In the incident itself, it's tough to say which team caused the fight, with both Florida and Vegas scrambling at the net over the puck with seconds left in the match. If the NHL gets involved, likely it'll be known what team started the fight. If there wasn't a catalyst, it may not matter.
Of course, it is likely that there will be disciplinary action regardless, and Pietrangelo, who did leave the box, could still face a fine or suspension for getting involved in the fight while not on the ice.
With Vegas only a win away from its first ever Stanley Cup, the question now turns to if Pietrangelo will face any action, and could it come in the pivotal game 5? Could other players who were on the ice be penalized further? For now, there are still many unknowns, and a lot of confusion.
Read More at Blade of Steel - Alex Pietrangelo could face a 10 game suspension depending on Department of Player Safety's rule interpretation
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Alex Pietrangelo May Face 10-Game Suspension Depending on Rule Review

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