Matt Martin would like you to know that he’s fine. That spear from the bench by Matthew Tkachuk during Wednesday night’s game? He didn’t even feel it. In fact, he wasn’t even aware of it until after Toronto’s 2-1 shootout win over Calgary when the media requested to talk to him about the incident.
It was during a late first period scrum in front of the Flames’ bench that Tkachuk jabbed his stick into Martin’s midsection.
That wasn’t missed by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, which announced that Tkachuk, who wasn’t penalized, will have a hearing on Thursday.
Martin, who didn’t want to offer an opinion on whether Tkachuk should be punished, did have some advice for the young forward.
“I guess if he’s going to do stuff like that he should probably make it count,” he said. “It’s whatever. That’s child’s play. I don’t really get involved in that kind of stuff.”
Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock wasn’t a fan either.
“The guys told me in-between periods. I mean, whatever, that’s junior hockey stuff,” he said. “He’ll learn over time. You gotta give Tkachuk credit, he played a good game, he played hard. No reason for that stuff.”
Tkachuk, a well-know shift disturber around the league, has had a busy first few months of the season in the area of discipline. He was suspended one game in November for inciting a brouhaha between the Flames and Detroit Red Wings, which earned Luke Witkowski a 10-game ban. Just 10 days later he was on the receiving end of a Gabriel Landeskog cross-check to the head that caused the Colorado Avalanche captain to sit for four games.
Already holding repeat offender status, Tkachuk will likely find himself sitting out at least one game for this.
UPDATE: One game ban for Tkachuk.