A little over a month ago, Oilers forward Zack Kassian got rather upset when he felt Matthew Tkachuk disrespected him by failing to abide by “the code” of hockey. Kassian tried to take justice into his own hands by jumping Tkachuk, and he ended up with a two-game suspension for his troubles

Now, Kassian is once again likely in hot water with the league’s Department of Player Safety, though this time it’s he who is disrespecting “the code.’ During Thursday’s Oilers-Lightning game in Tampa, Kassian got into a three-way pileup with with teammate Josh Archibald and Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak in the Bolts’ offense zone. 

As Cernak remained on top of Archibald, Kassian freed his own leg and then kicked Cernak in the chest in order to push him away — a highly dangerous and highly illegal course of action.

Amazingly, the incident largely went unnoticed on the ice. Cernak didn’t seem to raise a stink and no penalty was called, even with an official standing right next to the pileup. 

However, chances are slim that Kassian gets away with this. The league’s DoPS will undoubtedly review the incident and give the veteran Oilers forward a hearing to address the incident. The only question  is the length of the inevitable suspension.

Given the dangerous nature of this play and the recency of his last transgression, the league may come down hard on Kassian. 

Also, it’s worth noting that this is what Kassian had to say after serving his two-game ban following the Tkachuk incident:

“I have to be a bit smarter. I have to be on the ice in important games.”

I’m not sure if kicking an opponent in the chest while wearing hockey skates can be classified as “smarter.”


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