Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian has been suspended seven games for his kicking actions against Erik Cernak of the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday.
Kassian is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $166,463.43 according to the press release.
Here’s the Department of Player Safety’s explanation for the seven-game suspension:
The NHL has suspended Kassian four times in his NHL career including an incident a few weeks ago against the Calgary Flames. The power forward was sidelined for two games at the time due to violating rule 46.2 which states, “The aggressor in an altercation shall be the player who continues to throw punches in an attempt to inflict punishment on his opponent who is in a defenseless position or who is an unwilling combatant.”
Edmonton signed Kassian to a four-year extension following that incident in January. The contract is worth $12.8 million with an average annual value of $3.2 million but does not have any no-trade protection.
Kassian has recorded 14 goals and 16 assists in 52 games this season, surpassing his previous career high of 29 points set in 2013-14.
Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.
Sharks’ Evander Kane suspended 3 games for abuse of official
San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane received an automatic three-game suspension for violating Rule 40.4 (Physical Abuse of Officials) during Sunday’s preseason contest against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Kane, 28, had been getting into it with Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland, only for linesman Kiel Murchison to get involved. Kane got knocked over, and then he appeared to shove Murchison while getting up, leading to an ejection, and ultimately this suspension.
To put things mildly, Kane wasn’t happy with the ejection, and probably isn’t happy with the suspension. You can judge for yourself based on the video above this post’s headline.
“I get kicked out of the game for getting jumped from behind by a referee. I’ve never seen a ref take five strides,” Kane said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “If you look at his face, he’s getting all this power and he’s trying to drive me into the ice, which is what he did. That’s unbelievable.
”Talk about abuse of an official? How about abuse of a player? It’s an absolute joke.”
Here’s the verbiage of category three of the rule, which carries that three-game suspension:
“Any player who, by his actions, physically demeans an official or physically threatens an official by (but not limited to) throwing a stick or any other piece of equipment or object at or in the general direction of an official, shooting the puck at or in the general direction of an official, spitting at or in the general direction of an official, or who deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall be suspended for not less than three (3) games.”
Somewhat amusingly, this suspension would keep Kane out of what would be some heated games, as he’d miss two games to start the season against the Golden Knights (at Vegas on Wednesday, in San Jose on Friday), and then a Saturday game against the Ducks in Anaheim.
No doubt about it, Kane has revved up the rivalry against the Golden Knights, a situation that’s only escalated after that controversial Game 7 from Round 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In particular, Kane’s clashed with Ryan Reaves, both physically and verbally.
The NHL suspended former Kings defenseman Slava Voynov through the 2019-20 season (both the regular season and playoffs) for “unacceptable off-ice conduct.” However, the league also revealed that “Voynov’s eligibility to play in the NHL will be restored (assuming good behavior) no later than July 1, 2020.”
That “unacceptable off-ice conduct” stems from Voynov’s domestic assault arrest in October 2014, which prompted an indefinite suspension at the time. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman described “acts of domestic violence directed at [Voynov’s] wife,” Marta Varlamova, in the league’s statement.
“I have determined that Player Slava Voynov engaged in acts of domestic violence directed at his wife,” Bettman wrote. “Today’s ruling, while tailored to the specific facts of this case and the individuals involved, is necessary and consistent with the NHL’s strongly-held policy that it cannot and will not tolerate this and similar types of conduct, particularly as directed at a spouse, domestic partner or family member.”
Statement from the Kings on Voynov: “We are reviewing the NHL’s recent decision on Slava Voynov. It is premature for us to comment until we understand what today’s decision, which can be appealed, means in its entirety.”
After leaving the U.S. while facing possible deportation related to his domestic assault charges, Voynov spent the 2015-16 through 2017-18 seasons with St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL. Voynov won a gold medal with Russia during the 2018 Winter Olympics, and had hoped to return to the NHL during the 2018-19 season. Voynov was photographed with Vladimir Putin after winning that gold medal:
Voynov applied for reinstatement back in November 2018, prompting what the league deemed “a fairly comprehensive investigation.”
(Consider this a content warning, as this information can be graphic.)
Court documents detail how the fight continued when the two arrived home and the contents are equally grim. In one motion, filed on behalf of the District Attorney’s office, it states that Voynov “wrapped both of his hands around Ms. Varlamova’s neck and began to squeeze, making it difficult for her to breathe.” Voynov, according to the motion, “continued to choke her while repeatedly pushing her to the floor of the bedroom,” telling her to “get out,” that there would be “no more money for her,” and that she would be “gone.”
These clubs should also know that Varlamova’s seven-year-old daughter was reportedly at home at the time of the incident, and apparently, it did not end there.
PHT will monitor this situation for updates, which might see a decision from the NHLPA regarding an appeal.
After holding a hearing with Josh Archibald earlier on Friday, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety suspended the Arizona Coyotes forward two games for his “high, hard hit” on Ryan Hartman of the Nashville Predators.
The league’s explanation video explains that Hartman’s head was “the main point of contact” and that contact with the head was avoidable.
During the game itself (a 2-1 win for the Coyotes on Thursday), Archibald received a minor penalty. He doesn’t have a history of supplemental discipline at the NHL level, which may have prompted a lighter punishment. Hartman eventually returned to that loss for Nashville.
Here’s the explanation video via the NHL’s DPoS:
Archibald will be eligible to play for the Coyotes again on Nov. 23.
TSN reports that NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan has suspended Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic one game for boarding Philly’s Zac Rinaldo:
Lucic received a five-minute major and game misconduct for the hit, which was all kinds of contentious. Rinaldo didn’t appear hurt on the play (in fact, he jumped up and tooled on Nathan Horton) and later said he didn’t think the hit was dirty.
Lucic didn’t agree with the call, saying “I felt like I made every effort to take him out laterally” and “you can see even him, his body rotating because I took him from the right side.” B’s head coach Claude Julien said much of the same, claiming that Lucic let up and Rinaldo turned at the last second.
No matter, though.
Shanahan opted to suspend Lucic anyway, and one wonders what would’ve happened if he didn’t. Looch ran afoul of the league earlier this season after charging Ryan Miller (though he ultimately avoided punishment) and holds repeat offender status thanks to a one-game suspension for crosschecking Maxim Lapierre in the face during the 2009 playoffs.