Maple Leafs Slapped With Hefty Fine By NHL For Travel Issue

The National Hockey League has delivered a Boxing Day punch to the Toronto Maple Leafs for their travel to St. Louis on December 26th.

The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement states that Dec. 24-26 are to be free of all team activities, declared “off-days for all purposes, including travel.”

The Leafs had a game in St. Louis on Dec. 27th, and chose to fly in the night before, as teams usually do. But that's a no-no according to Article 16.5 (b) of the CBA.

In addition to the no-fly zone of those days, teams are also not allowed to request a player's consent to practice anytime between Dec. 24-26. 

The alternative to leaving at 10:30pm as they did on the 26th, was a 5:00am flight the next morning. 

The Leafs' illegal travel plans, however, paid off in a good night's sleep in St. Louis, and a thrilling 5-4 overtime victory over the Blues the next day. 

As noted by NHL Insider Chris Johnson, the Philadelphia Flyers pulled the same taboo travel schedule on Dec. 26, 2014 and they too were hit with a $100,000 fine back then. At least the Leafs were able to avoid inflation. 

Photo: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports