The sucker punch Lucic delivered to Sherwood was vicious, pointless, excessive and doubtlessly harmful. Will or not it’s sufficient to discourage him from doing one thing like this once more? The NHL had higher hope so.Milan Lucic|Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty ImagesIn an ideal world, Milan Lucic would have been suspended for 10 video games, or much more, for going all John Wick vigilante on Kole Sherwood of the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night time. However we reside in a world the place the NHL is skittish about having to cope with a Gamers’ Affiliation that places itself within the place of defending the miscreant whereas supposedly representing the rights of the aggrieved. So we’ll take the victories the place we are able to right here.
By any measure, the sucker punch Lucic delivered to Sherwood was vicious, pointless, excessive and doubtlessly harmful. It was hockey’s equal of taking a bazooka to a hornet’s nest. And it was the form of harmful play Lucic has been partaking in for years, as evidenced by the truth that he has been suspended and fined for related sorts of sucker punches previously three years. All instructed, Lucic has been suspended 3 times and fined 5 instances over the course of his profession previous to punching Sherwood with a lot pressure that his head snapped again and he fell to the ice. (At which era Lucic tried to proceed to mete out his personal type of self-discipline by making an attempt to get a pair extra punches in.)
Ought to Sherwood have obtained a penalty for jabbing on the pad of Calgary Flames goalie David Rittich? Completely, he ought to have. And that’s precisely what occurred. What he didn’t deserve was to be attacked by Lucic. As hanging decide George Parros identified, “the primary contact between the gamers is Lucic’s glove hitting Sherwood’s face.”
Lucic is a menace at the perfect of instances, and these are most undoubtedly not the perfect of instances. Lucic is likely to be the unhappiest individual making $5.25 million a 12 months on this planet. Together with anybody who has two eyes, he has doubtless come to the belief that the sport has handed him by at breakneck velocity and his contributions past something bodily are minimal. He’s watching the profession he labored so arduous to earn slip away from him and he’s in all probability not joyful about it. He’s with a brand new crew after a disastrous stint together with his former crew and he in all probability really feel he must show his value. (To not point out the truth that simply seconds previous to the punch, Sherwood stripped him of the puck like he was nothing greater than a minor annoyance, then went in and had a scoring probability.)
This brew has the potential to result in one thing ugly. Actually ugly. Like Todd Bertuzzi-ugly. Maybe a two-game suspension, and the scarlet letter of now being a repeat offender if he steps out of line once more, will trigger Lucic to pause and assume earlier than he tries to punch somebody’s head off once more. However judging by the variety of instances he’s been suspended and fined, mixed with the truth that this punishment is ridiculously mild, maybe not. And if that’s the case, extra of the identical could possibly be on the way in which. Lucic is just 31 and was by no means fleet of foot to start with, so there’s in all probability no skating coach on this planet who can get him up to the mark with the remainder of the league. So if he desires to maintain his spot on the fourth line, it could possibly be extra of the identical.
The encouraging factor about this suspension is that it flies within the face of hockey’s long-accepted notion that should you contact a goaltender, even with a flick of the stick, you’d higher be ready to pay a steep worth. No one desires to see Open Season on goaltenders, however perspective is important. Even when the NHL’s logic is twisted in solely the way in which the hockey tradition can twist logic, Parros makes that fairly clear in his ruling. “If Lucic desires to have interaction Sherwood, he should achieve this in a manner that enables Sherwood an opportunity to defend himself, or on the very least, put together for the confrontation,” Parros mentioned in his ruling. “Right here, the punch is thrown so Sherwood doesn’t have an opportunity to get his palms as much as both defend himself or select to have interaction Lucic.”
So Milan Lucic sat out Calgary’s time beyond regulation loss in Washington Sunday night time and can proceed to chill his heels when the Flames host Arizona Tuesday night time. In the meantime, he’ll be virtually $65,000 lighter within the pockets. Doesn’t look like a nasty deal for a punch within the head that vicious. The truth is, it would even be effectively value the fee for him and the Flames. Will or not it’s sufficient to discourage him from doing one thing like this once more? The NHL had higher hope so, or else it may have an incident on its palms that could be a lot worse – and with far more grave penalties – than it did Saturday night time.
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Tags: calgary flames, nhlConnect: Concerning the AuthorKen CampbellKen Campbell, The Hockey Information’ senior author, is in his second tour with the model after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native as soon as tried out for the Ontario League’s Wolves as a 30-year-old. For sure, it did not work out.