Edmonton Oilers’ Milan Lucic will hear from the National Hockey League Department of Player Safety for his reckless actions during last night 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The veteran forward now finds himself in hot water with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for his hit on Mathieu Joseph in the third period. After the Bolts rookie went after his teammate Kris Russell, Lucic wanted him to pay for his hit.
As showed in the videos here below, Lucic went all over the ice to track down Joseph and once he got to him, he cross-checked him in the neck before jumping on the kid. He climbed on top of Joseph and kept swinging. At that point, the veteran forward almost started a line brawl as every player on the ice got involved, either to defend the young Joseph still laying on the ice or to take them off Lucic, who was still furious about the hit.
Now, NHL insider Darren Dreger reports Lucic will have a phone hearing today for his actions.
“I thought it was a premeditated, blindside hit,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said after the game. “I saw it live, I haven’t seen it replayed. I’m sure the league will review that. I think Joe got cut too. You just don’t want to see that.”
Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said Lucic was doing his job as the team’s enforcer and was only protecting his teammate.
“He felt that a player took a liberty with Kris Russell, and I agree with the liberty part of it,” McLellan said after the game. “Part of the reason we have Luc here is to take care of teammates and he did that.”
Lucic, who has recorded one goal and four points in 15 games this season, was last suspended while playing for the Los Angeles Kings in January 2016, when he got a one-game ban for a punch to the head of Arizona Coyotes defenceman Kevin Connauton. He has been suspended three times in his career, each for one game.