The NHL department of player safety has reached a ruling on Zack Kassian‘s kick to the chest of Erik Cernak. Kassian, a repeat offender, will be suspended seven games.
Seven, you may note, is less than ten.
Here’s the video from DOPS, which is pretty wild if you think about it hard:
“While we agree with Kassian’s assessment that this play is not malicious,” the video says, “any player who intentionally and carelessly uses the blade of his skate to contact an opponent, no matter the amount of force used, engages in kicking, and is putting opponent in immediate risk of serious injury.”
Really hard to balance the “this isn’t malicious” part with the “his skate blade eight inches below Cernak’s carotid artery” part. There is some kind of inscrutable calculus wherein the low force of the kick offsets the part where it was almost a fatality clip from Mortal Kombat. Also hard to suss out how a repeat offender who was suspended a whopping eight games ago only gets a seven-game suspension for this.
Oh well. DOPS is a sphinx.