Now here’s a penalty call you can really sink your teeth into.
Los Angeles Kings forward Brendan Lemieux was ejected from Saturday night’s game for biting Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk.
A post-whistle scrum turned into a man-on-man battle as Lemieux and Tkachuk grappled, falling to the ice late in the third period. As linesman Libor Suchanek worked to pull the two apart, Lemieux apparently took a bite out of Tkachuk’s right hand.
As the players headed off – each picking up four minutes in penalties for roughing – Tkachuk shared the evidence of the bite with referees Gord Dwyer and Trevor Hanson.
Presented with irrefutable evidence, the stripes huddled to discuss the play. After review, they confirmed an additional call: a match penalty for Lemieux.
Here are the rules in play:
75.2 Minor Penalty – A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct shall be assessed under this rule for … any player who is guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct including, but not limited to hair-pulling, biting, grabbing hold of a face mask, etc. If warranted, and specifically when injury results, the Referee may apply Rule 21 – Match Penalties
21.1 Match Penalty – A match penalty involves the suspension of a player for the balance of the game and the offender shall be ordered to the
dressing room immediately. A match penalty shall be imposed on any player who deliberately attempts to injure or who deliberately injures an opponent in any manner.
Tkachuk did not mince words after the game.
“This guy, you can ask any one of his teammates, nobody ever wants to play with him,” said Tkachuk. “This guy is a bad guy and a bad teammate. He focuses on himself all the time. The guy’s just a joke. He shouldn’t be in the league. This guy’s gutless. No other team wants him, he’s going to keep begging to be in the NHL but no other team is going to want him. He’s an absolute joke. I can’t even wrap my head around it. People don’t even do this. He’s just a bad guy.”
“It’s outrageous. Kids don’t even do that anymore. Babies do that. I don’t even know what he was thinking, he’s just a complete brick head. He’s got nothing up there. Bad guy, bad player, but what a joke he is.”
Biting appears to run in the family. Lemieux’s father, Claude, allegedly bit an opposing player in 1986.
For now, Lemieux awaits the ruling from Player Safety.
UPDATE: Lemieux has been suspended five games for biting.