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The Toronto Maple Leafs must not have been flying Southwest, because they made it to St. Louis safely ahead of their game Tuesday against the Blues.
The only problem is, they got there a little too early and ran afoul of the NHL’s holiday travel rules.
The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA has a provision that forbids team activities between Dec. 23 and Dec. 26.
Yes; travel counts as a team activity.
So, the league has handed the Leafs a $100,000 fine for violating the terms of the CBA.
That wasn’t the end of it though. Once they were in St. Louis the fines weren’t over for the Leafs.
Bench boss Sheldon Keefe became irate after the Blues scored in the third to tie the game at 4.
Then he got heated again late in regulation…
The Leafs managed to leave St. Louis with 2 points thanks to a brilliant OT winner from William Nylander. That may have made the news that Sheldon Keefe was getting a fine for “demeaning conduct directed at the officials” a bit easier to swallow/
That’s a pretty hefty fine for giving the officials a piece of your mind.
Fines aside, they’re having a solid year in Toronto. The Leafs sit second in the Atlantic Division behind the white-hot Boston Bruins.
Of course, when we talk about the Leafs, the real measuring stick is postseason success, something the franchise hasn’t seen any of since 2004.
Is this the year the buck that trend?
We’ll see, but if ponying up more money in fines gets the Matthews/Marner/Tavares-era Leafs over the playoff hump.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle