It’s been a pretty insane week. Since the Calgary Flames played the Edmonton Oilers last Saturday night, all kinds of insanity has gone forth. And the league office has taken notice.
You probably all know the background, but in case you’ve been on vacation or living in a cave for the past week, here’s the gist of what happened:
- Matthew Tkachuk body checked Zack Kassian three times during Saturday’s game. All three hits were clean by the letter of the law – there were no penalties or supplemental discipline for Tkachuk – but they were obviously targeted.
- After the second hit, Kassian jumped Tkachuk and punched him several times. Kassian was given a double minor for roughing and a misconduct. He was subsequently suspended for two games for being the aggressor in the altercation.
- After the game, Tkachuk told Kassian to stay off the tracks (via his media comments).
- After the game, Kassian questioned Tkachuk’s manhood with some ungentlemanly language (via his media comments).
Since the altercation, Kassian’s teammates have doubled down on his action and Kassian has suggested he would target Tkachuk in the future. Tkachuk’s teammates and general manager have doubled down on his. With Kassian’s first game back being another Battle of Alberta on January 29, it’s probably not a shock to learn – via TSN’s Insider Trading – that two league executives (George Parros and Colin Campbell) have contacted Flames GM Brad Treliving and Oilers GM Ken Holland.
Here’s Darren Dreger:
Specifically, I think the NHL certainly took issue with some of the comments that came out this week as this battle continues off the ice – in particular Zack Kassian talking about, well, some form of restribution. Know this: George Parros is expected to be in the building for the January 29th game. Both GMs have been warned about calming this down.
Will it work? Well, maybe. Please recall that after last November’s brouhaha between the Flames and Oilers involving Tkachuk and Kassian we were treated to a very flat – and boring – 1-0 Oilers win over the Flames where you could count the good scoring chances on one hand.
The league is almost definitely going to throw some nitpicky referees at the rematch, so expect either a dull affair or a never-ending parade to the penalty box. Heck, maybe both. But given the involvement of the league, we can probably be assured of no line brawls – at least for the January 29 game.