Oilers' Zack Kassian suspended 7 games for kicking Lightning's Cernak

Ruben Hill
February 15, 2020

There are a number of reasons why Zack Kassian's kick to the chest of Lightning defenceman Erik Cernak was a awful decision. "I asked him what was wrong with him, because that's not the right play". "I was trying to get off and pull my leg off".

The Edmonton Oilers forward pushed his skate blade into the chest of Cernak, during a three-player pileup in Thursday's game. The Oilers argued Kassian's kick was not forceful, but the league contends that it's different from a hit, and any intentional or careless kicking with a skate blade won't be tolerated.

Kassian waved his right for an in-person meeting "to expedite the process", TSN's Bob McKenzie reported, but had a phone call with the league at 2 p.m. MST.

In the wake of the incident, many on social media opined Kassian should have to sit should have to sit out the rest of the season. Since the suspension is longer than five games, Kassian is eligible to appeal the suspension to commissioner Gary Bettman and, potentially, a neutral arbitrator.

Kassian will forfeit $166,463 as a result of the suspension because he's a repeat offender.

Kassian has 14 goals and 30 points in 52 contests with Edmonton this season, and just signed a four-year, $12.8-million extension with the team at the end of January. His suspension puts the Oilers in a bad spot as McDavid is now out two-to-three weeks with an injured quad.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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