Rangers’ Chris Kreider fined $5K for beating Cody Eakin with helmet

Chris Kreider may have got revenge for his teammate, but it’s going to cost him big.

The New York Rangers forward has been fined $5,000 for ripping the helmet off Dallas Stars center Cody Eakin and beating him in the head with it during Tuesday’s loss at Madison Square Garden.

The NHL Department of Player safety announced Wednesday that Kreider received the maximum fine allowable under the CBA.

Eakin was suspended five games in December for laying out Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist with a high and dirty blow. Kreider was eager for retribution and checked Eakin at 1:52 of the second period Tuesday. During the fight, Kreider pulled Eakin’s helmet off and struck him repeatedly with it.

Both players received a five-minute fighting major and Kreider dodged being ejected for using equipment as a weapon.

Edmonton will play San Jose in the first round of the playoffs, ending an 11-year postseason drought that dated to its loss in the Stanley Cup Final in 2006. Take McDavid away, and the Oilers would be back in the basement of the NHL. Sure, his supporting cast, led by forwards Leon Draisaitl and Jordan Eberle and goalie Cam Talbot, is solid, but those players just don’t measure up with the sidekicks other candidates have.

Crosby is McDavid’s closest competitor for the Hart, but we’ve seen the Penguins hum without Crosby before. The Oilers without McDavid would be a mess.

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