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Sharks' Marc-Edouard Vlasic fined for slashing Wild's Dany Heatley

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

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Things got a little testy at the end of San Jose's 4-2 win over Minnesota on Wednesday night with Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Dany Heatley getting in a stick-swinging tussel.

The result wasn't only an injury to Heatley but a fine for Vlasic. The Department of Player Safety announced on Thursday that Vlasic was fined $8,378.38, the maximum he could be docked.

The league reviewed the play like it does every other play, but they felt the need to speak with Vlasic and go into further detail. In speaking with the Wild they confirmed that Heatley suffered an injury (to his wrist, one that coach Mike Yeo said will keep Heatley out a while). However the review found that the injury to Heatley didn't actually come on the Vlasic slash but an ensuing scrum.

Still, Vlasic was fined. It was his first offense with the Department of Player Safety.

Even though the slash wasn't the direct cause of the injury, a fine is probably the right call in this case. Even though Heatley and Vlasic were having a battle and Heatley took a swing too, Vlasic's connected. The NHL wants to send a message that you can't swing away, that stick can be awfully dangerous too.

It's exciting to think that the Wild and Sharks could be first-round opponents as either a 4-5 matchup or a 3-6 matchup. With the familiarity between these two growing more and more and the dislike growing at the same time, that could be a lot of fun.

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