Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian was suspended for two games on Monday after a hearing about his altercation with Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk.
“If he doesn’t want to get hit, then stay off the tracks,” said Tkachuk of the heated affair.
Kassian’s next NHL game will be against the Calgary Flames on Jan. 29; not long after the NHL resumes after the all-star break.
The Oilers forward retaliated to a number of big hits laid on him by Tkachuk, eventually having enough and taking things into his own hands. Kassian reacted by throwing punches and smashing Tkachuk’s head on the ice.
Kassian was issued a double minor for roughing as well as a 10-minute misconduct after the altercation. Tkachuk was not assessed a penalty for his hits and did not have a hearing for his role in the game.
“(Not fighting) was probably the right thing to do right there,” said Tkachuk. “If it was a different type of player, maybe. Maybe someone closer to me out there, maybe. But it wasn’t the right time to do it against the right person.”
“He’s just a young punk that has to figure that aspect out in the game,” Kassian said. “It’s sad because he’s a pretty good player but he’s a (expletive).”
The Flames beat the Oilers 4-3 and went on to take first of the Pacific Division in their fifth-straight win.