Canucks' Micheal Ferland fined for spearing Ryan Hartman

Vancouver Canucks forward Micheal Ferland was fined $5,000 by the NHL for spearing Ryan Hartman on the Minnesota Wild bench during Game 1 of their qualification-round series Sunday night.

That's the maximum allowable fine under the collective bargaining agreement.

In the third period, Ferland checked Minnesota's Nick Foligno at the Wild bench. His stick went over the boards, and Wild forward Luke Kunin grabbed it, briefly restricting Ferland from rejoining the play. Ferland pulled his stick away and promptly speared Hartman in the midsection, thinking he was the one who had grabbed the stick.

Kunin was fined $1,000 by the NHL for his part in the incident.

Ferland was given a minor penalty for slashing. The Wild bench was given a minor penalty for interference.

The NHL Department of Player Safety has typically handed out fines rather than suspensions for spearing. In the past nine incidents that received supplemental discipline, only two earned a suspension: Brad Marchand was suspended two games in April 2017 for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin, and Matthew Tkachuk was suspended one game in December 2017 for spearing Toronto's Matt Martin from the bench. In both cases, the players were considered repeat offenders under the department's guidelines.

One other factor in Ferland's discipline: The qualification round is a best-of-five series. The NHL already treats suspensions in the playoffs differently because of the potential percentage of games lost vs. that in the 82-game regular season. In an even shorter series, the bar is raised higher.