Oilers’ Zack Kassian suspended seven games for kicking Erik Cernak

Oilers' Zack Kassian kicks opponent in chest with skate during game

Oilers' Zack Kassian kicks opponent in chest with skate during game

Edmonton's Zack Kassian has been offered an in-person hearing for Kicking Tampa Bay's Erik Cernak.

The incident occurred during the Oilers' 2-1 loss to the Lightning on Thursday.

Late in the first period, Kassian and Cernak were tangled up on the ice after being knocked over by Edmonton's Josh Archibald. He was not penalized on the play.

The NHL said Kassian admitted to using the blade of his skate to push off from an opponent, and the league "acknowledged Kassian's argument that he was trying to disentangle from a pile of players". "I was laying there for a while, a couple of seconds, so I was just trying to pull my leg out... I was just trying to get him off me, kick him off me", Kassian said after Thursday's game.

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Cernak didn't agree. "I think he was little bit mad", he said. I knew right away when he was on the ice he kicked me. 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.

Was Suspension Severe Enough?

Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl had the best chance to tie the game in the third as he was set up by Jones to the right of the net, but Vasilevskiy got across to make the save. Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and, based on his average annual salary, he'll forfeit $166,463.43.

Kassian received a two-game suspension last month after an altercation with Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk.

Kassian is a repeat offender.

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