Edmonton Oilers forward Milan Lucic has been fined $10,000 for roughing Tampa Bay’s Mathieu Joseph. Lucic’s fine is the maximum permissible under the CBA.
Lucic didn’t like a hit Joseph delivered on the Oilers’ Russell earlier in the period. When no penalty was called on the play, Lucic decided to take the law into his own hands.
The Oilers’ winger slashed Joseph, then stalked him throughout his shift. Lucic made his move, delivering a hit to Joseph deep in the Lightning zone, and following it up with a punch.
Lucic was given 14 minutes of penalties on the play – two for interference, two for roughing, and a ten-minute misconduct by referees Jake Brenk and Dan O’Rourke.
“I thought it was a premeditated, blindside hit,” said Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. “I saw it live, I haven’t seen it replayed. I’m sure the league will review that. I think Joe got cut, too. You just don’t want to see that.”
Edmonton head coach Todd McLellan stuck up for his winger, whose frustrations may have been compounded by a team trailing 5-2 and facing its second loss in two nights to two teams that are Stanley Cup favorites.
“He felt that a player took a liberty with Kris Russell, and I agree with the liberty part of it,” McLellan said during his post-game press conference. “Part of the reason we have [Lucic] here is to take care of teammates. He did that.”
Lucic has been suspended three times in his NHL career. This time, he gets off with just a fine. Pocket change, really.