[UPDATE: Lemieux will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety.]
We’d say “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” but then there’d be the risk that someone would get hungry.
While the Canucks and especially Canadiens are really dominating when it comes to bad Canadian NHL teams creating drama, it was a distasteful Saturday for the Senators, too. Perhaps this was actually the “perfect” night for Brendan Lemieux to (allegedly?) bite Brady Tkachuk, then?
After the game, Tkachuk unloaded on Lemieux, via the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch:
“This is the one time I’m going to answer this,” Brady Tkachuk said. “It was the most gutless thing somebody can ever do. This guy, you can ask any one of his teammates, nobody ever wants to play with him. This guy is a bad guy and a bad teammate; he focuses on himself all the time.”
Really, the full rant is worth observing:
Brady Tkachuk here #Sens pic.twitter.com/6c2bYKB0Ma
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) November 28, 2021
Senators’ Saturday: Murray waived, Lemieux’s alleged bite on Tkachuk
Brendan Lemieux — as it turns out, not surprisingly Claude Lemieux’s son — was ejected for allegedly biting Brady Tkachuk. You can watch multiple replays of the strange spectacle in the video above this headline.
If you want/if you’re eager to defend Lemieux, maybe you can say that Tkachuk shouldn’t have been “face-washing.” Or whatever. Look, this is strange stuff.
The Kings ended up beating the Senators 4-2, capping a day when Ottawa also put struggling goalie Matt Murray on waivers.
#Sens head coach D.J. Smith previews today’s game against the Kings and provides an update on Matt Murray #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/j0gScbZ25r
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) November 27, 2021
Perhaps there’s a chance someone will take another chance on a goalie whose best moments were indeed quite impressive. Matt Murray was key to the Penguins’ repeat Stanley Cup wins, but that happened a long time ago — at least in hockey years.
Plenty of people were confused by the Senators taking such a gamble on Murray, and that (possibly desperate?) bid clearly hasn’t worked out. It’s unlikely that another team will bail the Senators out of Murray’s contract, at least not on waivers.
Matt Murray #Sens is in year 2 of 4 $6.25M cap hit deal.
If bought out after this year, saves $5M cash and carries cap hits of:
Yr 1 $1.75M
Yr 2 $750K
Yr 3/4 $2.5Mhttps://t.co/ZZtXQgl6RV https://t.co/brrBFudVG5 pic.twitter.com/zpm5yysKSt
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) November 27, 2021
If the Canucks and Canadiens weren’t imploding so spectacularly, you’d expect Pierre Dorion to feel more heat right now. A Senators team hoping to take at least a few steps out of rebuild mode is instead 4-14-1 after a 4-2 loss to the Kings.
A hungry history of very odd violence
In case you’re wondering, there’s some NHL suspension precedent for biting, if Lemieux is guilty of chomping on Tkachuk as believed. (Side note: should it be tkchomping?)
In 2003, Marc Savard received a one-game suspension for biting Darcy Tucker’s glove. Also, the Senators have employed a biter before icing a bit-ee. Back in 2009, Jarkko Ruutu received a two-game suspension for biting Andrew Peters.
Naturally, there have also been multiple incidents where Brad Marchand licked opponents, but these days he’s mainly dodging gloves.
Will the NHL suspend Brendan Lemieux for seemingly biting Brady Tkachuk? We’ll see.
Either way, it’s a memorable moment during a weekend that the Senators would like to forget.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.