Zack Kassian will get off straightforward because the NHL palms him a seven-game ban for deliberately kicking opponent
The NHL Division of Participant Security had each motive to throw the e book on the repeat-offending Oilers winger. As a substitute, he was handed a seven-game ban that may be a hardly a punishment befitting the crime.Zack Kassian|Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty ImagesIf you’re the betting sort, right here’s hoping you took the beneath on the suspension levied towards Zack Kassian. Greater than 4 hours after the Edmonton Oilers winger sat down to satisfy with the NHL’s Division of Participant Security, the choice has come down: a paltry seven-game ban.
Gorgeous concerning the suspension just isn’t solely its size, however its size paired with what appeared as if it was the right storm for the Division of Participant Security to return down swiftly and mightily on Kassian and throw the e book at him for probably the most boneheaded of boneheaded performs. Contemplate the background: Kassian is a repeat offender who was taking part in simply his eighth sport since getting back from the two-game suspension he earned for the bare-knuckle beating he placed on the Calgary Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk. After which contemplate the crime: Kassian thrust his skate, blade first, at an opponent. Seemingly the one factor working in Kassian’s favor was that Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak was not injured on the play.
Clearly, although, the Division of Participant Security determined to not carry the hammer down. As a substitute, for kicking at an opponent together with his skate blade, an motion that very nicely might have price Cernak weeks or months or extra had all concerned gotten way more unfortunate, Kassian will probably be sidelined for little greater than two weeks.
What’s mind-boggling is that the video coinciding with the seven-game resolution gave viewers each motive to imagine the Division of Participant Security was about to banish Kassian for a substantial period of time. Actually, if one have been to pause on the actual second earlier than the size of the suspension is about to be introduced, one would guess Kassian was staring down double digits.
Within the video, acknowledged is “Kassian’s argument that he was attempting to disentangle from the pile of gamers” and the Division of Participant Security agreed with Kassian and the Oilers that the play was “not malicious.” However that’s adopted by the Division of Participant Security stating, in no unsure phrases, that these components “under no circumstances (justify) this motion,” not lengthy after noting that whereas pressure is “all the time an vital consideration for each on-ice officers and our division…we should emphasize that utilizing a skate blade to make intentional or reckless contact with an opponent, whatever the function, is completely totally different from a success that includes a participant’s physique or stick as there may be minimal pressure required to dangerously reduce and injure an opponent.”
However there’s no comply with by way of. From there, the Division of Participant Security stops brief. There’s no double-digit ban. There’s no actual sense of justice. There’s solely what’s going to within the eyes of many quantity to nothing greater than a slap on the wrist.
And what’s nearly unbelievable is that even when the Division of Participant Security methods itself into believing that is an honest-to-goodness punishment, the fact is Kassian and the Oilers each acquired off straightforward. To not kick a useless horse with the blade of a skate, however it’s price reiterating: Kassian is a repeat offender who acquired a suspension not barely three-times the size of his prior ban regardless of this being his second assembly with the Division of Participant Security in lower than one month and that this incident is inarguably way more harmful than the final.
That’s to say nothing, both, of how grateful the Oilers needs to be that seven video games is all Kassian is getting. To make sure, Kassian is a gifted participant who has skilled a profession renaissance in Edmonton and has already posted a career-best 30 factors this season. He’s – scratch that, was – on tempo for 21 objectives and 45 factors. The seven-game ban will get in the way in which of him truly reaching these numbers, however he’ll nonetheless return for the stretch run. When he’s eligible to return towards the Nashville Predators on March 2, there’ll nonetheless be 18 video games remaining within the Oilers’ season.
Really, if there’s any punishment right here, it’s solely that Edmonton will probably be with out Kassian on the actual second they want him most. After lacking the post-season in every of the previous two seasons, the Oilers discover themselves within the hunt for a playoff berth and doubtlessly even home-ice benefit within the first spherical. Hindering their pursuit, nevertheless, is the latest lack of captain and offensive mastermind Connor McDavid, who’s prone to be sidelined by way of the commerce deadline. With out McDavid, the Oilers wanted each offensive contributor and top-six caliber ahead accessible to be working at their finest. And Kassian, who ranks fifth in common ice time amongst Oilers forwards with no less than 50 video games performed and is their fifth-highest scorer, was a kind of gamers.
And possibly, if we glance actually laborious and speak ourselves into it, that’s sufficient punishment – that Kassian’s actions will harm his group the place it issues most, the standings, at a time they’ll sick afford to be dropping factors. However as has far too usually been the case this season in issues involving the Division of Participant Security’s supply of justice, it nonetheless feels as if it’s not sufficient.
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Tags: suspensions, edmonton oilersConnect: In regards to the AuthorJared ClintonJared Clinton is a author and internet editor with The Hockey Information. He is been with the group since 2014. He was born, raised and resides in Winnipeg, the place he could be discovered lacking the web on out of doors rinks throughout city.