Edmonton’s Zach Kassian has a penchant for taking penalties — even when he’s not on the ice.
The Oilers were assessed a bench minor for interference when Kassian popped the helmet off of Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram midway through the third period of Thursday’s Game 3 of the Western Conference Final
He got a penalty for ripping the opponent’s helmet off 😳
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) June 3, 2022
The bench minor falls under Rule 56.3:
A bench minor penalty shall be imposed when an unidentifiable player on the players’ bench or penalty bench or any Coach or non-playing Club personnel who, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with the movements of the puck or any opponent on the ice during the progress of the play.
Kassian, though, was rather identifiable. He could’ve been given the two minutes directly under 56.2:
A minor penalty for interference shall be imposed […] on any identifiable player on the players’ bench or penalty bench who, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with the movements of the puck or any opponent on the ice during the progress of the play.
The Edmonton winger could’ve also been dinged with a roughing minor for removing Byram’s helmet, under the newly-added portion of Rules 9.6 and 51.2:
A minor penalty shall be imposed […] if a player intentionally removes an opponent’s helmet during play pursuant to Rule 9.6.
Byram was also penalized, getting a roughing minor for delivering a retaliatory punch.
The Oilers tough guy has 63 penalty minutes in 58 games this season, and 863 over his 610-game National Hockey League career. Most of them, though, he earned on the ice.
Colorado won the game 4-0, taking a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Final. Referees for the game were Dan O’Rourke (#9) and Frederick L’Ecuyer (#17), with linesmen Steve Barton (#59) and Ryan Daisy (#81). Gord Dwyer (#19) and Devin Berg (#87) were the standby officials.