Flames' Milan Lucic drops Blue Jackets' Kole Sherwood with sucker punch

Stan Temming
Flames forward Milan Lucic clocks Blue Jackets forward Kole Sherwood in the face after digging for a puck under David Rittich. (Twitter//BradyTrett)
Flames forward Milan Lucic clocks Blue Jackets forward Kole Sherwood in the face after digging for a puck under David Rittich. (Twitter//BradyTrett)

It doesn’t matter who you are. If you decide to mess with anyone on the Calgary Flames, Milan Lucic is gonna get you. (Seriously, he’s a man possessed out there at times).

His latest victim? Kole Sherwood, a 22-year-old forward playing his first NHL game of the season for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

After getting a shot off on David Rittich early in the second period, Sherwood crashed the net and began digging for the puck as the Flames goaltender smothered it. His aggression wasn’t appreciated by Lucic, who gave Sherwood’s stick a whack before burying him behind the net.

After the dust from the ensuing scrum settled, Lucic was handed a double-minor penalty for roughing while Sherwood was slapped with a minor for slashing.

Sherwood wasn’t able to serve his penalty, though. Unsurprisingly, he had to enter concussion protocol and get evaluated for a potential head injury. Fans at Nationwide Arena gave him an enormous ovation as he left the ice.

“I saw the puck there loose and just tried to grab it and, yeah, it didn’t work out,” Sherwood told Dave Maetzold of FOX Sports after the game. “But, yeah, I thought it sparked us and, ah, you know, we just came up short.”

The Flames won the game 3-0.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced later Saturday night that Lucic will have a hearing on Sunday for the incident. If he were to be suspended, this wouldn’t be new territory for the 31-year-old. Lucic received a one-game ban in January of 2016 for losing his cool and punching an unsuspecting Kevin Connauton in the head.

Before that, he was slapped with a one-game suspension for an illegal hit on Zac Rinaldo in December of 2011.

Undrafted following a junior career split between the OHL’s London Knights, Flint Firebirds and Kitchener Rangers, Sherwood has now seen time in the ECHL, AHL and NHL this season. He has three goals and an assist with the Cleveland Monsters and appeared in two games for the Blue Jackets last season.

In doing so, he became the first Columbus-area native to play for the team.

Lucic, meanwhile, has three assists and 30 penalty minutes in 16 games.

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