Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins

Milan Lucic will not be suspended for sucker punch vs. Atlanta

When Milan Lucic of the Bruins helped ignite a line brawl of sorts against the Thrashers after taking a vicious hit from Freddy Meyer, which later saw Lucic sucker punch Meyer, it appeared that Lucic was heading towards an extended Christmas vacation courtesy of the NHL.

Today, the league weighed in on what they thought of Lucic’s actions and it appears they wanted just a little bit of money out of Lucic’s wallet. The league did not suspend Lucic for his sucker punch and instead fined him for his actions including $2,500 for the hit and another $1,000 for an obscene gesture towards the Atlanta bench.

We’d like to say it’s surprising that Lucic wasn’t suspended for his actions, but then again, this is the NHL where anything can happen when either Colin Campbell or Mike Murphy weigh in on these matters. Sucker punches have been given this same treatment before in the past and Bruins fans are likely to recall one such instance.

During the 2009 playoffs, Carolina’s Scott Walker sucker punched Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward in a similar manner and was only fined for his dirty punch. Walker would then go on to score the series-winning goal in Game 7 against Boston in that series. Bruins fans should be happy to know that in this case, the door does swing both ways and irrational punishment can work in their favor.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.