2:53pm: Lucic has been fined $10,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA. The Oilers power forward will avoid suspension, though this incident will be taken into account for any further disciplinary decisions.
11:08am: The Department of Player Safety has more work scheduled for this week, as Darren Dreger of TSN reports there be a phone hearing for Milan Lucic following the incident last night in Tampa Bay. Lucic, angered by the lack of penalty or penance for a hit from behind earlier in the game, followed Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph around the ice before eventually landing a big hit away from the puck and attacking him on the ice. The incident led to both lines coming together in the corner, with players like Darnell Nurse and Alex Killorn getting involved.
Lucic, 30, is likely feeling some added frustration given his struggles this season. The power forward has just one goal and four points in his first 15 games, a far cry from the expectations that came with his seven-year $42MM contract. His offensive numbers plummeted last season to a total of just 10 goals, and things haven’t changed for him despite several opportunities alongside Edmonton’s best players.
Despite still being a powerful physical force, Lucic has turned into something of an anchor for an Oilers team that wants to play with much more pace. His $6MM cap hit is troublesome given the other huge commitments Edmonton has made to Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and it part of the reason the team is pressed right up against the salary ceiling without many secondary scoring threats. A suspension would only serve to further suppress any production from Lucic, though he doesn’t have a long history with the league despite his physical play. He has been suspended before, but not for several years and never for more than one game at a time.