Zack Kassian has been suspended two games by the NHL Player Saftey Commitee for his attack on Matthew Tkachuk in Saturday’s Oilers loss to the Calgary Flames.
According the video on NHL.com, the description of the suspension explains that Kassian was hit with a “hard check” but then got back to his feet and Kassian attempts to grab Tkachuk who is focused on the play. and an offensive chance for the Calgary Flames. Kassian grabs him by the collar from behind and throws a series of forceful punches to an unwilling combatant; a 46.2 rule violation.
The rule states:
The aggressor in an altercation shall be the player who continues to thrown punches in an attempt to inflict punishment on his opponent who in a defenseless position or is an unwilling combatant.
The video goes on to say at no time was Tkachuk able to square up or defend himself. The video states that Kassian acknowledges he was seeking retribution for the first hit and the last hit.
The department of player safety also took into consideration his previous suspensions.
Good News and Bad News
The bad news for the Oilers is they’ll be without one of their top-line players for the next two games. The good news is, he’ll get a chance to hop back into the lineup when the Oilers take on the Flames January 29th in the next Battle of Alberta match-up.
You can bet that while Kassian will try to keep a level head, he and other Oilres teammates will be looking at opportunities to exact a little revenge and at the same time, all eyes of the hockey world will be focused on this game.