As you may recall, Zack Kassian went full "This is Sparta!!!" mode on Erik Cernak last night and kicked him square in the square in the chest, blade first.
Was it the most powerful kick in the world? Definitely not. But what if Kassian had rode up Cernak's shoulder pads and ended that kick a little higher? Is he that confident in his kicking ability that he knew there was a 0.00% chance that he wouldn't end up catching Cernak's throat? Considering it's not like he's anywhere near the greatest athlete in the NHL, I'm going to assume he couldn't guarantee that. So even though the kick itself wasn't going to cave in Cernak's sternum, that's a pretty reckless move from Kassian.
So reckless that he now gets to take the next 7 games off thanks to the NHL Department of Player Safety.
Somehow I feel like 7 games is actually more of just a slap on the wrist. But maybe this is the DoPS making up for the fact that they hit Kassian with a 2-game suspension after the first round of the Battle Of Alberta this year after his wires crossed on Matthew Tkachuk. I feel like a lot of people thought Kassian was in the right to go after Tkachuk a little there and at the very least, if they were going to suspend one of the guys then they should have suspended both. So did the DoPS take that into consideration and pretty much just combine the two of these suspensions into 1? Maybe. Who knows. All I know is Zack Kassian is so damn lucky for two reasons.
The first, obviously, being that the kick didn't fully get away from him here and he didn't slice someone's throat. And the second reason being that he's already signed a 4-year extension with Edmonton at the end of January with an AAV of $3.2 million. That's the biggest contract this guy is ever going to land and the fact he was able to get it done before this incident is huge. He's now been handed 9 games of suspensions in just the 2020 calendar year alone, AND he's added a 4-year extension on top of it all. What a wild month and a half it's been for this lunatic.
Sidenote: This was pretty much Kassian's way of saying "he shouldn't have been standing there".