NHL Player Safety makes a ruling on the Lucic/Smith incident in Game 3.

The NHL has spoken.

Jonathan Larivee

Much of the talk following the conclusion of Game 3 between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames has been surrounding the collision that occurred between  Flames forward Milan Lucic and Oilers goaltender Mike Smith. Lucic ran over Smith roughly midway through the third period and did so when the game was well out of reach for the Flames, something that has helped paint the incident in a rather negative light.

It wasn't the most egregious hit you're ever going to see, and there's even an argument to be made that Lucic attempted to pull up before making contact with Smith, but any time you end up hitting the opposition's goaltender you can expect it is going to strike a nerve.

Although fans in Edmonton have been calling for Lucic to have the book thrown at him it would appear that, aside from the time he missed in the third period of Game 3, Lucic is home free on this one.

According to a report from ESPN's Emily Kaplan, her sources have informed her that the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety will not be handing out any supplemental discipline to Lucic as a result of the incident in Game 3. It would appear that either the league believes that Lucic did in fact make an attempt to stop before making contact with Smith, or that they simply believe a 5 minute major and a game misconduct was the appropriate punishment for the infraction.

While I suspect that fans of the Oilers are not going to be happy with this decision, I will add that it is almost certainly the best thing for this heated rivalry between the Flames and the Oilers. We have a minimum of 2 games remaining in the Battle of Alberta and if Smith and Lucic are both in the lineup for those games I suspect it will only increase the chances that we see fireworks on the ice.

We won't have to wait very long for this rivalry to pick back up either, Game 4 is scheduled for Tuesday night.