Maple Leafs' Joffrey Lupul fined for cross-check at Winter Classic

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In front of more than 105,000 people and a large television audience, Joffrey Lupul cross-checked Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves in the head and neck area. Today, the NHL’s department of player safety ruled that all Lupul deserved as a $10,000 fine as opposed to a suspension.

The cross check to Eaves, who has a long history of concussions, knocked the Red Wings forward out of the game and drew a two-minute minor on the ice. Eaves was not concussed on the play, but needed to have his jaw reset as a result of the blow.

Eaves returned to practice Friday with a shield to protect his jaw, according to Ansar Khan of mlive.com.

“Everything’s good to go now,” Eaves told mlive.com. “It was pretty uncomfortable with my jaw being the way it was; my teeth weren’t lined up. I was pretty sore right away. But it’s back in the right spot and feels a lot better.”

So Lupul may be getting off with a slap on the wrist as he is a repeat offender. Also, the fact that something like that happened with such a large television audience without harsher repercussions is more than a little surprising.

Lupul maintained after the game that he was aiming for Eaves’ arm when attempting to deliver the cross check, but got him in the neck instead. That’s some pretty bad aim right there.

The Maple Leafs are likely breathing a sigh of relief as Toronto players have seemingly gotten themselves suspended a lot this year, with David Clarkson and Dion Phaneuf both receiving bans within the last month of the season.

CBS Sports Writer

Chris Peters has been a hockey writer for CBS Sports since 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for numerous outlets and edited the United States of Hockey blog, covering the sport at all levels. Peters also... Full Bio

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