The intent is what issues in Zack Kassian’s harmful kick
The hockey world has seen some horrific accidents attributable to skate cuts, which is why Kassian’s assault on Tampa Bay’s Erik Cernak is so disturbing. Although the Lightning defenseman was not injured, the NHL must take a critical stance on the incident.Zack Kassian|Andy Devlin/NHLI through Getty ImagesEdmonton Oilers proper winger Zack Kassian is in hassle once more, this time for a harmful kick on Tampa Bay’s Erik Cernak. Whereas it’s by no means sure what the NHL’s Division of Participant Security will do in these conditions, Kassian was supplied an in-person listening to for the incident, which provides the NHL the choice of suspending him for greater than 5 video games. He waived his proper to the in-person listening to and a telephone listening to will likely be carried out Friday afternoon.
The important thing right here for me is intent. Fortunately, Cernak was not injured on the play, however that’s inappropriate: skates are probably the most harmful piece of apparatus utilized by a hockey participant and the checklist of grotesque accidents are well-known: Clint Malarchuk, Richard Zednik and simply this season, Niagara IceDogs goalie Tucker Tynan are amongst those that have been affected.
The distinction between these specific three instances and Kassian? The skaters within the different three didn’t imply to harm these guys. Removed from unintended, Kassian grabs Cernak, then will get stunned by his personal teammate (Josh Archibald), leading to all three gamers on the ice. Kassian then seems to carry Cernak’s glove/stick earlier than aiming a kick at his chest.
After the sport, Kassian instructed Mark Spector that “(Cernak) was holding my leg, it was reactionary, I used to be simply making an attempt to get him off me, kick him off me.”
Not less than he was trustworthy about kicking Cernak, although I’m unsure that’s going to clean on the listening to. Kassian can also be coming off one other current suspension for the Matthew Tkachuk flap, which doesn’t bode effectively for the Oilers enforcer, both.
Although a scarcity of harm to Cernak works in Kassian’s favor, it’s the intent that’s disturbing right here. Had Cernak bent over even barely when Kassian went to kick him, we may have seen a dying on the ice – and that’s not hyperbole; he may have slit his throat. It doesn’t take a lot pressure for razor-sharp skate blades to do injury and Kassian ought to know that.
So what ought to the punishment be? Chris Simon obtained 30 video games for stomping on the ankle of Pittsburgh’s Jarkko Ruutu in 2007 and you’d assume that the NHL has gotten extra progressive since then – although, to be truthful, Simon had been suspended for 25 video games the prior season for slashing Ryan Hollweg of the Rangers within the face (the ban began close to the tip of 1 12 months and ended throughout the next marketing campaign). However after merely giving Boston’s Zdeno Chara a $5,000 advantageous for a cross-check to the throat of Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher the opposite night time, it’s onerous to say what Kassian’s punishment will likely be.
In my view, it’s a must to go sturdy right here. It’s not even near a hockey play, so there’s no purpose Kassian ought to have even considered kicking. It’s additionally extraordinarily harmful and all events concerned are fortunate that Kassian hit Cernak’s padded chest together with his skate blade.
Do I anticipate 30 video games? Reader, I don’t. Logic says 15 video games could be a deterrent that may remind Kassian to not do one thing so dumb sooner or later, however pragmatically I may see the DOP going with 10. Cynically, I feel they’ll go 5 since suspensions appear to high on the market this 12 months (Corey Perry obtained 5 for his elbow on Ryan Ellis on the outside sport in Dallas – that’s the longest on-ice ban to this point this season).
Regardless of the consequence, it’s a nasty search for Kassian.
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Tags: tampa bay lightning, edmonton oilers, nhlConnect: In regards to the AuthorRyan KennedyRyan Kennedy is the affiliate senior author and draft/prospect knowledgeable at The Hockey Information. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all known as his home. He lives in Toronto together with his spouse and children the place he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.