ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Wild center Ryan Hartman seems overwhelmed from the amount of fan support he's getting for sticking up (a finger) for an All-Star teammate.
Television cameras captured Hartman jumping into action after Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane got into a scuffle with the Wild's Kirill Kaprizov Tuesday night. As officials were breaking up the scrum, Hartman flipped Kane off, a gesture that many NHL players and fans apparently agree with.
League officials, however, did not. As a result, the NHL fined Hartman $4,250 for "unsportsmanlike conduct," but fans started donating to his verified Venmo account to cover the cost. Allie Cook was the first person to Venmo Hartman, and it wasn’t long before the viral trend took hold among the Wild faithful. Kane's ex-wife even kicked in $200 in support of Hartman.
Hartman shared on Thursday that he will be paying the fine out his own pocket, but said additional money donated to his Venmo account will be donated to Children's Minnesota. He's also urging people to donate directly to Children's, turning an incident deemed "unsportsmanlike conduct" into a positive.
On Friday, the scrappy Wild center posted on Twitter that the official total donated to his Venmo was $30,500, not counting direct donations.
"Thank you for everyone who participated for a great cause," Hartman tweeted.
Hartman joined the Wild prior to the 2019-2020 season, but he's become one of the more popular players on the roster amid a season where he's tallied 29 goals and 27 assists, both career highs. The former first-round selection for the Chicago Blackhawks back in 2013 also had stints with Nashville and Philadelphia before signing with the Wild in 2019.
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