During tonight’s Edmonton Oilers versus Tampa Bay Lighting game, Oilers forward Zack Kassian momentarily lost his mind as he kicked Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak in the chest, skate blade first.
Kassian remained in the game but it’s likely a call comes from NHL’s Player Safety Committee and Kassian will receive a fine at the least and potentially a lengthy suspension at the worst. The timing couldn’t be worse as the Oilers are already down a few key forwards with injuries and in a tight race for the playoffs in the Pacific Division.
An incredibly stupid decision could wind up costing Kassian, who hasn’t been good since he signed his extension with the Oilers a couple of weeks ago. Basically, this is the last thing he or the team needed.
You can see footage of the incident below in a couple of different videos posted on social media:
Social media was buzzing with comments from NHL insiders suggesting it was inevitable Kassian would get a call in the morning. TSN’s Ray Ferraro said, “This should be costly for Kassian and Oilers .. can’t even think of a defence for that move…” Sid Sixiero said, “Zack Kassian can never again call another hockey player cheap after what he pulled tonight.”
And, it didn’t take long for others to start guessing as to what the Oilers might do knowing someone who have to come in and take Kassian’s place in the lineup.
At the least, with a Kassian suspension on the horizon, Tyler Benson will likely get a chance over the weekend. And, if the suspension is lengthy, GM Ken Holland might be in the market for someone to replace Kassian on a more permanent basis this season. With the trade deadline only a few days away, perhaps Holland will be among the busier NHL GM’s.
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