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Wild fans use Venmo to help Ryan Hartman pay off league fine

Grateful Hartman will donate all fans’ money to Children’s Hospital Minnesota

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild right wing Ryan Hartman (38) and Edmonton Oilers left wing Evander Kane (91) fight in front of the benches in the third period Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports

ST. PAUL — The game had been over for about 15 minutes on Tuesday night at the Xcel Energy Center and Ryan Hartman was still hot.

With the Wild in complete control against the Edmonton Oilers, winger Evander Kane showed his frustrations by crushing Kirill Kaprizov with a dirty crosscheck after the whistle. Not surprisingly, Kaprizov’s teammates came rushing to his defense, with Hartman flying in to drop the gloves with Kane.

As the officials separated both players on the ice, Hartman gave Kane the middle finger, a gesture that’s usually followed by a fine of some sort. Asked postgame about potentially getting fined, Hartman replied, “Well worth it.”

On Wednesday morning, the NHL fined Hartman the maximum allotment of $4,250 for unsportsmanlike conduct. That would’ve been the end of the story had it not been for Wild fans rushing to Hartman’s defense, much like he rushed to Kaprizov’s defense 24 hours earlier.

In a viral movement on Venmo, hundreds of Wild fans sent money to help Hartman pay off his fine. The transactions were still rolling in ahead of the Wild’s game against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night at the American Airlines Center.

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“As a team, we’ve stuck together all season and defended each other, and now the fans are part of that,” Hartman told reporters in Dallas. “It was pretty cool to see them get behind us like that.”

It was a complete shock to Hartman in real time. He’s been in the league for nearly a decade and can’t recall a time something like this has happened.

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“It’s something I wasn’t really expecting,” he said. “I’ve been fined a few times in my career and it’s the first time I’ve had a fan base try to help pay it off for me.”

As for the fine, Hartman made it clear that he will be paying it himself. He took to Twitter and alerted Wild fans that he plans to donate all the money in his Venmo account to Children’s Hospital Minnesota. He added that he would be accepting donations until 7 p.m. on Friday.

That’s the gesture Hartman wants to be remembered for moving forward, not flipping off Kane the other night.

“Obviously. I don’t want to be a bad role model to young hockey players,” Hartman told reporters. “Just something that kind of happened in the spur of the moment.”

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