BOSTON - Milan Lucic was suspended one game by the NHL after hit hit on Zac Rinaldo of the Philadelphia Flyers during Saturday's 6-0 blanking by the B's. Lucic's suspension held him out of the team's game against the Canadiens on Monday.
Lucic hit Rinaldo from behind during the second period of the Flyers game and received a major penalty and a game misconduct. Lucic, who spoke with NHL VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan earlier in the day about the hit, was made available to the media prior to Boston's game against Montreal at TD Garden.
"Obviously I don't think anyone's ever happy when they get suspended," said Lucic. "Brendan Shanahan went with the decision that he felt was the right decision and you've got to respect any decision that they make, whether you agree with it or not. It sucks to sit out a game for an incident like this, especially when we're playing our rivals tonight-Montreal. For myself, it's just probably a good time to sit back and have fun watching a game against our rivals and see how the guys do." (via BostonBruins.com)
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli also spoke about Lucic's suspension minutes prior to the game.
"So I talked to Brendan Shanahan today following his sanction on Milan [Lucic], the one-game suspension, and what was explained to me was that when there have been incidents before with a player, they look at the whole body of work. I don't know if it's as strong as being a repeat offender, but he's done stuff in the past, according to hockey ops, that go to his character reference when they're looking at putting up punishment. Brendan didn't say this, but if it was his first incident, I would think maybe he wouldn't have been suspended. Brendan didn't say that, but that's my take on the whole thing. If you go back and see what Milan has done, to me, it's pretty unremarkable, but they obviously look at everything. I think he got a suspension against [Maxim] Lapierre, he got the fine against Freddy Meyer, he got a warning on [Ryan] Miller, and this. I might have been missing one, but he didn't get any other warnings. You wouldn't know of warnings because, short of a fine, they don't publicize that. I agree with the global objective of addressing player safety, and if the body of work means that now he's in that, again, not "repeat offender," but the "repeat concerns," I guess, however you want to characterize it, then if that's what it is, that's what it is. Obviously I support the league's attempt at addressing player safety. And I think Milan might have explained to you, and he actually, if you look at it closely, I feel that he has, he did change his game, so to speak, on that check. I thought he stopped skating. If you looked at his left arm going in, I thought he tried to lever him so that he could hit him in the crest, and I don't think he hit him as hard as he normally does. Milan's a guy who's led our team in hits, I think, since he's been here, and he's very rarely been penalized with boarding, hit from behind - the roughing stuff. He's a clean player, and that's what the law is now, so we'll abide by it."
Lucic will return in the Bruins' next game against the Florida Panthers on Friday.