Kurtis Gabriel and Bob Boughner have been fined by the NHL for this pre-game incident involving Gabriel and Kurtis MacDermid last night.
Kurtis Gabriel hunting his target 🦈 pic.twitter.com/M41ZB4CkX0
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) March 23, 2021
Per the league’s press release, the San Jose Sharks forward was fined $3,017.24, the maximum allowed under the CBA. Boughner was fined $5,000.
In addition, the San Jose Sharks were assessed a $25,000 conditional fine, collectable in the event of “similar inappropriate behavior” through Mar. 22, 2022.
This, by the way, isn’t the first time that Gabriel has made the news for his warm-up activities:
Ryan Reaves already having words with Kurtis Gabriel 👀 pic.twitter.com/VINyed8DNo
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) March 6, 2021
Here we go again.
Kurtis Gabriel and Ryan Reaves are back at it before tonight's game 👀 pic.twitter.com/WRDZOPYzXr
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) March 7, 2021
Kurtis Gabriel and Kyle Clifford had a friendly pregame chat 🍿 pic.twitter.com/hVLpYvtJ8p
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) March 9, 2021
Notably, the confrontation with Kyle Clifford saw Clifford shoving Gabriel.
Besides these pre-game extracurriculars, Gabriel was also assessed a 10-minute misconduct penalty for an undisclosed incident during the Mar. 19 loss to St. Louis.
Both Doug Wilson and Boughner came on the side of the NHL.
“While we want our players to play hard, it has to be done within the context of the game and whistle to whistle. We agree with the League’s assessment that these altercations are not acceptable and we do not condone this type of pre-game interaction,” Wilson said in a statement. “The League has made it clear that these types of actions will not be tolerated and we have addressed it internally.”
These were Bob Boughner’s full comments on the incident, what happened against St. Louis, and Gabriel’s future in the league:
Boughner, on the fines:
I’m obviously not happy about it. We agree with the league; we don’t condone it.
I never even knew it happened actually until after the game. I started seeing some things come out.
I’ve had that talk with Kurtis before. I want him to play his role. I think he’s playing well. He’s added a lot of enthusiasm to our line-up. I know that guys love having him around, love having him in the line-up.
But all the other stuff, outside the whistles, has gotta just stop. We’ve talked to him, he understands that.
I tried to make an example of that couple games ago when he got thrown off the bench, got a 10-minute misconduct against St. Louis. I sat him down, I didn’t play him the next game, told him that he can have a nice career in this league, he’s just got to keep it between the whistles.
Not happy about being fined obviously, but the league’s made its decision, we respect it, we agree with it. It’s not gonna happen again under my watch.
Boughner, on what happened versus the Blues on Mar. 19:
I think he was standing up and screaming at the other bench or something, I’m not sure. It was just an altercation, more verbal than anything.
But he plays on the edge, he plays with his heart on his sleeve, he plays with a ton of passion, but it’s got to be controlled. That’s the second time we’ve talked to him about it now and he’s assured us that’s the end of it.
That’s not the kind of team we want to be. We want to be team-tough, we want to play hard. We want to be hard to play against, but within the whistles.
Kurtis Gabriel also took questions about what happened with MacDermid – these are the San Jose Sharks’ enforcer’s full comments:
Gabriel, on the fines:
It’s time to move on from that for me.
I know what I can control. That’s the play between the whistles. I’ll have a lot more energy ready for that. I’ll be drooling for my next chance to play between the whistles.
Gabriel, on what happened between he and MacDermid:
I think we all saw what happened. Was reactionary. Not the instigator. But it can’t happen anymore. As far as I’m concerned, there won’t be another team on the ice in warm-up. I’ll be focused on hyping myself up and my boys and be ready to play.
Gabriel, on if NHL is making an example of him, trying to deter pre-game confrontations in general:
It’s not my job to worry about that. I got to do what I’m supposed to be doing.
That’s playing hockey between the whistles, playing hard, bringing energy for my teammates, and being effective all over the ice, which I think I have been. I’m just going to stick to that.
Gabriel, on if it will be easy for him to play in control and between the whistles:
Yeah, absolutely. I’ve done it before.
My presence has been felt now. It’s time to focus on the game at hand, when I get in there next time. And absolutely, I wear my heart on my sleeve. And I can control that for sure. I can keep it between the whistles, I can use that passion and that energy on that forecheck, on the backcheck, doing all the little things, the details, I can focus on that instead.
Gabriel, on his relationship with ex-Owen Sound teammate MacDermid:
We’re not friends anymore. We have some history that I don’t appreciate with him. We’ll leave it at that.
Gabriel, on challenge of toeing the line:
I can do that. I was doing that in the minors. There’s no problem with that. I just won’t be reactionary. They can come over the red line. They can do whatever they want. I won’t be reacting. I’ll be reacting during the play between the whistles, when I’m allowed to make clean bodychecks. Be on the forecheck, be heavy. I can do that easily.
Sheng’s Travel Fund
Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.