Zack Kassian is likely facing a suspension from the NHL for his actions on Thursday night.
During the Edmonton Oilers’ 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Kassian was one of three players down on the ice. As he tried to push himself out of the pile, he kicked Erik Cernak. Kassian’s blade appeared to go straight into Cernak’s chest.
Here is the full video of Zack Kassian kicking Erik Cernak after taking him down to the ice. Exactly one month (1/13/20) after his two game suspension on Tkachuk @NHLPlayerSafety pic.twitter.com/jBR4IRWK85
— NHL Player Safety Mod (@NHLSafetyMod) February 14, 2020
Kassian is notorious for dirty plays like this. He defended his actions after the game.
“He was holding my leg, it was reactionary, I was just trying to get him off me, kick him off me. I was just trying to get my foot loose,” Kassian said via the Tampa Bay Times. “If I kicked him hard, I think he would have flew back or the ref would have called a penalty.”
The 29-year-old winger has been suspended in juniors, international competition, and the NHL, in addition to his multiple substance-abuse suspensions. Kassian was suspended two games for going after Matthew Tkachuk in January.
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Four teams (Detroit, New York Rangers, Ottawa & Vegas) do not currently have a captain, while Carolina has co-captains.