“It’s a dirty, low play that the league doesn’t like, and I want to see the league deal with it,” said Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff. “[Kulikov] took out one of the best players in the league, and it’s something that has to be dealt with. I’ll let [the NHL] deal with it.”

Deal with it they have. Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitri Kulikov has been suspended four games for clipping Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin.

The illegal hit happened at 13:05 of the third period in last Friday’s game in Dallas. Kulikov was given a major penalty for clipping and a game misconduct by referees Chris Lee and Graham Skilliter.  The Panthers trailed 2-0 at the time and went on to lose the game by the same score.

Clipping is defined in the NHL rulebook as follows:

Clipping is the act of throwing the body, from any direction, across or below the knees of an opponent. A player may not deliver a check in a “clipping” manner, nor lower his own body position to deliver a check on or below an opponent’s knees. An illegal “low hit” is a check that is delivered by a player who may or may not have both skates on the ice, with his sole intent to check the opponent in the area of his knees. A player may not lower his body position to deliver a check to an opponent’s knees.

It was clear the league was taking a hard stance on this play and that they were considering a significant suspension, since Kulikov was offered an in-person hearing, which is required for suspensions five games or greater in length. He declined, instead opting for a phone hearing.  In that hearing, Kulikov learned that he’d miss his team’s next four games. From the NHL:

 

Kulikov is a first-time offender.  The Sunshine Skate took a look back at Kulikov’s career penalty history.

According to the Stars, Seguin will be out 3-6 weeks.  TSN’s Renaud Lavoie reported Seguin’s injury could keep him sidelined for the remainder of the regular season.

Kulikov will forfeit $93,189.96 in salary as a result.


 

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