The incident occurred in a game Saturday, a 4-2 Los Angeles victory. Lemieux was originally assessed a match penalty and two roughing penalties on the play, which occurred with 6:09 left in regulation.
The Department of Player Safety’s argument for the suspension revolves mainly around the clear and evident biting motion of Lemieux, as demonstrated by video evidence. Their video explanation of the ruling states as follows:
Tkachuk spins and drops his gloves to immediately engage with the player who has grabbed him. Lemieux drops his gloves and the two grab a hold of each other, wrestling briefly before Tkachuk takes Lemieux down to the ice. While on the ice, Lemieux, feeling Tkachuk’s hands on his face as they wrestle, bites Tkachuk on his bare left hand and does so with a substantial amount of force.
While circumstantial evidence supports the argument that Lemieux may have bitten Tkachuk multiple times during this fight, we are limiting our review of this incident to the bite that occurs almost immediately after the players fall to the ice… due to a lack of evidence, this decision does not include an analysis of how Tkachuk ended up bleeding from his right hand. We have heard Lemieux’s argument that the puncture may have been caused in this moment by Tkachuk punching him on the tooth with force sufficient to cause a puncture wound. The video evidence does not support this version of events. This is not a hockey play.
Lemieux has already been fined once and suspended twice, adding to the gravity of the suspension.