Earlier today it was reported that Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk would have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for his high stick on Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick last night. That hearing has apparently come and gone and the league has decided to suspend the winger for two games for the infraction.
As the accompanying video explains:
“It is important to note that this is not a reckless or careless use of the stick during a normal hockey play. Rather, this is a controlled and purposeful stick directed at the head of an opponent. While we have heard Tkachuk’s argument that he was not intentionally aiming for quick’s face in an attempt to injure him, he was intentionally using the blade of his stick to hit an opponent in the head, making contact with his face. And while this stick is delivered without substantial force, it is only because of the lack of force that this play is not met with more severe discipline.”
When discussing the length of the suspension, the video also takes into account Tkachuk’s previous disciplinary history, including one fine and three suspensions. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Tkachuk will forfeit $102,702.70 which will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
The incident happened at 19:22 of the third period during Florida’s 5-4 loss to the Kings. As Quick froze the puck, Tkachuk stuck his stick blade inside the goaltender’s mask. Tkachuk was assessed a two-minute penalty and a misconduct on the play.