Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian to have hearing Monday; Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk’s hits ruled clean
After Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian’s violent incident with Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk on Saturday, the NHL will decipher whether Kassian will receive additional punishment for his actions.
The league’s player safety department announced Sunday that Kassian will have a hearing on Monday for roughing Tkachuk. Kassian dropped the gloves to retaliate for multiple hits he deemed unsportsmanlike by the Flames forward throughout the game. Tkachuk, however, wanted no part in the exchange, never removing his gloves or dropping his stick while Kassian threw punch after punch and forced him to the ice multiple times before officials could separate the pair.
Ultimately, Kassian earned a double-minor roughing penalty, a 10-minute misconduct and now will have a hearing for his troubles. Tkachuk escaped the entire incident without any penalties from the on-ice officials. According to ESPN, he won’t receive any supplemental discipline for his hits on Kassian, who felt the hits were predatory and criticized Tkachuk after the game for not fighting him.
“Both hits delivered on Kassian were legal, full body checks delivered to a player carrying the puck,” the NHL’s player safety department told ESPN on Sunday.
Tkachuk, known around the league for agitating opponents, told reporters after the Flames’ 4-3 win that if Kassian “doesn’t want to get hit, then stay off the tracks,” and said he was happy to earn his team a power play by enraging Kassian.
After the game, Kassian implied he might seek retribution on Tkachuk next time the Oilers and Flames meet — the Pacific Division rivals meet in Edmonton on Jan. 29 and again in Calgary on Feb. 1. Any suspension Kassian might receive for Saturday’s fracas would need to be for at least five games for him to miss those contests.
“It’s going to be one of those games where I know he’s not going to fight,” he told reporters. “But maybe it’s my turn to deliver something, to follow him around a little and wait until he gets in a bad situation. Simple.”
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