Los Angeles Kings forward Milan Lucic was handed a one-game suspension from the NHL Department of Player Safety on Sunday for an incident in Saturday’s loss to the Arizona Coyotes.
During the third period of the game, Lucic was in a scrum in front of the net and took a slash to the left wrist from Coyotes defenseman Kevin Connauton. Lucic responded by going after Connauton when the play was whistled dead, hacking him in the back of the leg and then giving him an unexpected punch to the head.
The DoPS video notes that Connauton and Lucic were not in an altercation at the moment of the punch. Connauton was off-balance and engaged with another attacking player. He didn’t have any reason to think that a punch was coming. That’s what earned Lucic a one-game ban.
Lucic had some choice words about referee Brad Meier following the game, noting that Lucic believes Meier is targeting him for game misconducts and ejections.
Lucic has been given four fines and two suspensions previously and that factored into his suspension this time. It also factored into most people rolling their eyes when he said he was being targeted.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.