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Hartman: Reputation shouldn't impact my ability to get calls

Bruce Kluckhohn / National Hockey League / Getty

Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman knows "there's no place" for the stick-throwing incident that led to his fourth career suspension, but he's hopeful his reputation as a repeat offender isn't impacting his ability to get calls.

"I mean, it shouldn't," he told reporters Tuesday. "We all have our jobs to come in each game as a fresh game. ... Penalties are penalties, unbiased, whatever. It shouldn't be, 'Oh, he did this this game, so I'm not going to call it.'

"Every game's a different game in my mind. That's how we as players feel. I'm sure that's how refs feel. That's something that's part of the job, to be an unbiased official. I think they do a pretty good job at that. If that is what's going on, I don't know, but I don't feel that way."

Hartman was handed a three-game ban for tossing his stick in the direction of an official at the end of the Wild's 2-1 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.

He confirmed that part of his irritation came from a missed high-sticking call late in the game.

"In the moment, with the importance of the game and with 1:40 left, we have a chance to be on the power play to get two points. ... Yeah, (my frustration) came out," he said.

Hartman said he's worked on his relationships with officials over the past few seasons. He's racked up 72 penalty minutes in 68 games this campaign after eclipsing 90 minutes in each of his previous two seasons. The 29-year-old was even scratched at times in 2022-23 because of his constant trips to the box.

None of his infractions this season have been major penalties, but this is his second suspension of the campaign. He sat out two games for tripping Alex DeBrincat in November.

Hartman was also embroiled in controversy in January. Cole Perfetti said Hartman admitted to intentionally high-sticking the Winnipeg Jets forward, who was mic'd up at the time. The audio was never made public, though.

"I have a lot of passion for this game and for winning and for protecting our players and for being out there playing the game of hockey," Hartman said Tuesday.

"I don't feel like I've been putting our team behind the eight ball by any means by taking frustration penalties," he continued. "I don't think that's really an issue. Can you say me being out three games is hurting the team? Maybe. But that was out of my hands. Obviously it was my doing, but it was in player safety's hands."

The Wild played their first game without Hartman on Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators.

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