A brief bout of unsportsmanlike conduct has landed Matt Tkachuk an undesired break.
The National Hockey League announced Thursday afternoon that the Calgary Flames forward has been suspended one game for his spear on Maple Leafs forward Matt Martin.
The incident happened during the first period on Wednesday night when Tkachuk, while on the Flames bench, speared Martin, who was on the ice.
In its explanation, the NHL Department of Player Safety said it took into account that while the spear was not “forceful or malicious enough to merit supplemental discipline on its own” the facts that Tkachuk was on the bench, and Martin on the ice, and that Tkachuk is a repeat offender, resulted in the suspension.
Tkachuk will miss the Flames’ game in Montreal against the Canadiens on Thursday, and will forfeit $11,280.49 US in salary.
“If you look at what he did, you just have to realize that this is the NHL, and those things, you’re not going to get away from it,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said before the suspension was announced.
“Maybe in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, you’ll get away with those, with Hudson Bay rules. He has to learn to walk that line and not do that kind of stuff.”
Tkachuk was a thorn in the side of the Leafs for much of the game, which ended in a 2-1 shootout win for Toronto.
“I did not feel it at the time,” Martin said after the game. “I guess if he is going to do stuff like that, he should probably make it count. Whatever. That’s child’s play. I don’t really get involved with that kind of stuff. I just found out about it.”
Did Martin hope the NHL would discipline Tkachuk? There was no penalty on the play.
“It’s not really my call,” Martin said. “I don’t really get involved with that. Second time, I guess, over the last little where I have seen him do something like that where, if you’re going to do it, you might as well make it count and try to hurt somebody if you’re going to do something stupid.
“Whether the league looks at that, that’s up to them. That’s not something I really care to get involved in.”
Tkachuk was suspended for one game in November for unsportsmanlike conduct during a game against the Detroit Red Wings.
Tkachuk hit Detroit’s Luke Witkowski on the leg with his stick as the Wing was leaving the ice. Tkachuk received a five-minute major for spearing and a game misconduct.
Witkowski returned to the ice and was suspended automatically for 10 games by the NHL.
Martin respects Tkachuk’s physical, agitating approach. Just not when it crosses a line.
“You can play with an edge for sure,” Martin said. “He’s an effective player and he’s a good player, but when he is sitting on the bench or the situation in Detroit where he gives a guy a whack when he is already off the ice, it’s not necessary. I don’t think it’s a good hockey play by any means.”
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies