“Money well spent.”
That’s how Zack Kassian sums up the $20,967.74 US he will forfeit during his two-game suspension for tossing Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk around like he was a scarecrow.
Well spent, the Oilers winger made clear to reporters on Tuesday, because he now knows two important things: that one of the biggests pests in NHL seems unwilling to fight, and that the league considers the crunching, blindside hits Tkachuk threw to start the whole rigamarole were clean.
“That gave me some clarity about what you can do and can’t do now,” Kassian told the media Tuesday after his team’s morning skate at Rogers Place. “So, I put that in the memory bank.”
For those who don’t speak hockey player, that likely means Tkachuk will have to watch his own blindside when the teams meet again later this month.
It also means we may need stronger words than the Battle of Alberta to characterize the bad blood now simmering between these two guys and their teams.
Anyone who needs reminding should know that things went ballistic Saturday night in Calgary after Tkachuk throttled Kassian with not one, not two, but three crushing hits before the target of all that violence decided he’d had enough.
Late in the second period at the Saddledome, with the game tied 3-3, Kassian reached his personal enough when Tkachuk drilled him into the boards and sent his helmet flying.
‘I’d do it again’
Kassian grabbed Tkachuk by the collar of his sweater, tossing him around like he was made of rags, then landed several punches before the linesmen stepped in. Kassian was given a double minor for roughing. The Flames scored on the powerplay and won the game 4-3.
Both players have made it clear they wouldn’t change anything, even if they could.
“I’d do it again all over again,” Kassian said Tuesday.
The Oilers forward said he spoke with league officials, who explained the Tkachuk hits were not dirty plays. He said he accepts that, and his own suspension.
“Clean or dirty, if someone takes two runs at you on your blindside, I told [the league], since I’ve been in minor midget I’ve stood up for myself and my teammates. People don’t do that to me or my teammates when I’m there.
“To me, those are two dangerous hits. If they’re clean, they’re still predatorial, which is completely fine. I’m a big boy, I love big-boy hockey. But if you’re going to play big-boy hockey, you’ve got to answer the bell once in a while.”
Had Tkachuk been willing on Saturday to go toe-to-toe with gloves off, the unpleasantness might have ended already, Kassian said.
If you’re going to play big-boy hockey, you’ve got to answer the bell once in a while.– Zack Kassian
“If he just answers the bell right there, I don’t think anything ever happens, right? He actually might gain a per cent of respect in the league. That’s where it stands.”
Fans of both teams, and across the league, will no doubt be eager to see for whom the bell tolls on Jan. 29 at Rogers Place, when the Oilers and Flames face off again.
“He messed with the wrong guy,” Kassian said. “I don’t think he realizes that we’re in the same division, and I have a great memory.”
Alouettes trade for QB Trevor Harris – CFL.ca
MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes announced on Sunday that the team has acquired veteran quarterback Trevor Harris from the Edmonton Elks in exchange for American defensive end Antonio Simmons.
In six games this season, Harris completed 135 of 192 passes, collecting 1,568 yards, adding six majors.
Harris (six-foot-three, 212 pounds) is in his ninth season in the CFL after playing in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton. In 139 career games, he completed 1990 passes for 23,750 yards, adding 126 touchdown passes. The 35-year-old quarterback has hoisted the Grey Cup twice (2012, Toronto; 2016, Ottawa). The Waldo, OH native was selected on the East Division All-Star Team in 2016. The former Edinboro University Fighting Scots suited up for the Jacksonvile Jaguars in 2010 and the Buffalo Bills in 2011.
“Trevor is a veteran who knows the league well and what it takes to win”, said Montreal Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “We are pleased to have been able to complete this transaction. We are confident that Trevor will work well with our quarterbacks. We thank Antonio for his services and wish him well.”
In 23 career games with the Alouettes, Simmons made 52 defensive tackles, five quarterback sacks and forced a fumble.
Simmons is currently in his second CFL season and joins the Elks after originally signing with Montreal in May of 2019.
The Georgia Tech product played all 18 regular season games for the Als in 2019, recording 45 defensive tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble. In five games this season, Simmons has registered seven defensive tackles and two sacks.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Simmons played four years (2014-17) at Georgia Tech, collecting 83 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and seven quarterback sacks. He spent time in 2018 with both the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Flames D Andersson fined $5K for roughing Oilers F Yamamoto – TSN
Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson has been fined $5,000 for roughing Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto.
Andersson was fined the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the Players’ Association.
The money goes to the players’ emergency assistance fund.
Andersson was assessed minor penalties for both roughing and elbowing at 14:33 of the first period Saturday in Edmonton.
The Flames lost their season-opener 5-2 to the Oilers.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2021.
Report: Maple Leafs to ease up on dress code restrictions for game days – Sportsnet.ca
The Toronto Maple Leafs are apparently planning to loosen up on dress code restrictions for players on game day.
Players are required to wear jackets, ties and dress pants to and from the arena, as outlined in the CBA, however, teams can ease up on the mandate if they choose.
The Arizona Coyotes were the only team that opted to do so entering the season, but the Maple Leafs now plan to follow suit, according to Lance Hornby of The Toronto Sun.
The decision comes just a few days after ESPN published an article on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, who has shown a flair for unique fashion while away from the arena, discussing his displeasure with the NHL’s strict dress code.
“I don’t mind wearing a suit, but it gets old pretty quick,” Matthews said. “I think it’d be fun to wear different things and be able to express yourself, similar to what the NBA does or even the NFL a little bit.”
The 24-year-old Matthews, who led the NHL with 41 goals in 52 games last season, missed the first three games of the season while recovering from wrist surgery and is expected to make his 2021-22 debut Monday night against the New York Rangers on Sportsnet.
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