Calgary Flames forward Milan Lucic has been suspended two games for roughing Columbus Blue Jackets forward Kole Sherwood.
The incident occurred early in the second period of Saturday’s 3-0 Flames win. Sherwood fired a shot on Calgary goaltender David Rittich, then tried to poke at the puck once it had been covered. Lucic took exception to Sherwood’s actions, dropping him with a sucker punch to the face.
Kole Sherwood gets dropped by Milan Lucic after jabbing at a puck covered by David Rittich pic.twitter.com/3ZljyNfHoU— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) November 3, 2019
The NHL deemed the confrontation wasn’t mutually agreed upon, and Sherwood did not have a chance to brace himself for the contact. He wasn’t given an opportunity to defend himself, or engage in a proper fight.
Lucic was originally slapped with a double-minor for roughing on the play, while Sherwood was assessed a slashing minor for trying to dig the puck out of Rittich’s possession.
Lucic has a history of this type of behaviour. Since January of 2016, the NHL notes the 31-year-old has been suspended once and fined once for punches to the face of unwilling opponents.
Flames general manager Brad Treliving “vehemently disagrees” with the NHL Department of Player’s safety’s decision, and thinks the referees on the ice did a satisfactory job of handling the situation.
In addition to the violent behaviour, Lucic has seen his production wane in recent seasons. He has yet to score a goal and has three assists through 16 games with his new club in 2019-20.
More NHL coverage from Yahoo Sports