Milan Lucic seems like one guy you never went to mess with.
The Edmonton Oilers power forward was angry Tuesday evening against Tampa Bay after rookie Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph laid out veteran Oilers blueliner Kris Russell with a hit from behind.
As soon as Joseph stepped onto the ice, Lucic slashed him and tracked him into the Lightning end. Lucic brought the youngster to the ice and appeared to throw a punch at him. The vicious sequence almost ignited a line brawl between the two teams.
The Edmonton power forward did show some restraint on the play, refraining from hurting Russell while he was down or taking any major revenge. The tracking of Joseph when he stepped on the ice is what got Lucic in hot water.
Milan Lucic tracks down Mathieu Joseph after he hit Kris Russell from behind and almost starts a line brawl pic.twitter.com/9x5CDQHsfG
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) November 7, 2018
Lucic is 6’3″, 231 lbs, while Joseph comes in at 6’1″ and 190 lbs.
Lucic had a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for the incident, but escaped suspension, only receiving a hefty fine.
Edmonton’s Milan Lucic has been fined $10,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for roughing Tampa Bay’s Mathieu Joseph.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) November 7, 2018
“I thought it was a premeditated, blindside hit,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. “I saw it live, I haven’t seen it replayed. I’m sure the league will review that. I think Joe got cut, too. You just don’t want to see that.”
Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said Lucic was doing his job as the team’s tough guy.
“He felt that a player took a liberty with , and I agree with the liberty part of it,” McLellan said after the game. “Part of the reason we have Luc here is to take care of teammates and he did that.”
Lucic has one goal and four points in 15 games this season and was last suspended while playing for the Los Angeles Kings in January 2016 when he got one game for a punch to the head of Arizona Coyotes defenceman Kevin Connauton.
Lucic has been suspended a total of three times in his NHL career.