Blog Entry

No suspension for Milan Lucic

Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:03 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 10:05 pm

By: Adam Gretz

Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic had a meeting with Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's vice president of player safety, on Monday afternoon to discuss the play that took place on Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres when Lucic hit goaltender Ryan Miller after he came out of the crease to play a loose puck.

Following Shanahan's review, as well as his discussion with Lucic, it was determined that the Bruins forward will not face any supplemental discipline.

Despite the calls from fans to allow goalies to be hit when the leave their crease, goalies are not "fair game" when they exit the blue paint. The NHL rule book states that incidental contact may be permitted at the referee's discretion when the goalie is playing the puck outside of his crease, as long the skater makes a reasonable effort to avoid the contact.
More on Bruins-Sabres

Said Shanahan, via the league's official web site, "I had the hearing because I did make an initial assessment of the play as I do with all plays, but I did have some questions for Milan and I wanted to hear directly from him. They were regarding his intent; at what point did he know there was going to be a collision; and whether or not he felt he had the time to avoid the collision. I was satisfied with his answers."

Lucic received a two-minute minor for charging, while it was later revealed that Miller suffered a concussion and will not be in the crease when the Sabres visit the Montreal Canadiens on Monday.

Miller was livid following the game and was brutally honest when it came his post-game comments, saying "I just stuck around because I wanted to say what a piece of [feces] I think Lucic is."

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli released a statement relaying his pleasure not only with the NHL's decision, but Lucic not responding to Miller's postgame remarks.

"We are satisfied with the NHL's announcement that there will be no suspension or fine for Milan, and we respect the process that the League took to reach this decision.

"I am also proud that Milan took the high road, and chose not to engage in an exchange of words after the unfortunate comments that were made about him following the game."

The "statement" from Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was decidedly different.

“It just means that teams will be to able do exactly what Lucic did,” Ruff told reporters before Buffalo's game in Montreal. “Your goaltender can play the puck, we can run him over, we can hurt him and all you get is a two-minute minor penalty.

“That is essentially what that means -- You can concuss the other team's goalkeeper ... it means it's fair game on goaltenders again."

Shanahan wasn't on board with the idea that the decision opened pandora's box on goalies across the league, instead condeming Ruff and the Sabres.

"I think Buffalo's comments are irresponsible to suggest that it's open season," Shanahan said at the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony. "I will have this warning for players: `It's not. If you run a goalie you're going to find yourself in the same situation that Lucic was today, you're going to have to explain yourself and you don't explain it sufficiently, and if I don't buy it, you're going to be suspended."'

The Sabres and Bruins meet again on Nov. 23.

The play has been a hot topic of discussion around the league, and on Monday Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson, who coached Miller at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, wondered if the NHL should be doing more to protect goalies. Here's what he had to say from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail:

"It'll be interesting to see the direction the league's going to go. There's no white papers out there to describe that kind of an injury or hit with regards to goaltenders. If it was a defenceman, you'd say that it was a clean hit.

"However, a goaltender's more or less defenceless in some of those situations. They're not wearing the same type of equipment, they're not built to absorb a 250-pound freight train running you over. Whereas a defenceman may. That's the debate that's going to go on in the next couple of days. Should we be protecting goaltenders?"

Wilson's team has been without its starting goalie, James Reimer, for nearly a month after he took a hit to the head while standing in his crease in a game against the Montreal Canadiens back in October. The NHL general managers meetings are scheduled to start on Tuesday, and while this isn't a subject that was planned on being discussed, it wouldn't be a shock if it makes its way into the conversation at some point.

Click Here For More NHL Discipline News

Brian Stubits contributed to this story

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 9:48 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

You cannot compare Rome hit on Horton to Lucic on Miller.  Just watch videos of both to see difference in the time between the puck possession and the hits.  Lucic's intent is speculative.  It was a race to the puck, he could slow up and lose or try to get it, and know it will likely draw a penalty.  That is my speculation, as is any other that he was trying to hit Miller in any more of a vicious way.  Both played chicken, and Miller also had the choice of flinching as it was almost even race to the puck.

He was penalized for his gamble on getting to the puck, so I see this as a completely different hit than the one in SCF game 3.  Seems like Rome has a target on him now with another questionable hit, so if anyone wants to call out Lucic for a dirty hit, pick a different hit. 

If goalies are completely untouchable, then they should have a more restricted zone.  All they need to do to break a play up is get in the way if that was the case, and even draw a penalty.  If they are untouchable make another semi circle around the net as to where they can be, and not in a traffic area where races for the puck will be common.


Since: Nov 14, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 9:35 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

Well said pathfinder

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 9:31 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

Unless you're a hockey fan that's in his/her 20's, there's nobody out there that can talk about cheap shot artists, or dirty players, without standing there like a little pot calling a kettle black. Granted, he may have been able to pull up a bit, I don't know, I'm not a 250 pound forward skating like that. Here's what I do know - there are Penguin fans on this board talking about the Bruins and cheap shots like the Pens haven't done anything, ever. Remember what Samuelson did to Neely? That was a cheap, POS, hit to a knee that ruined Neely's career. I get it, you want something recent, my bad. What about your POS Matt Cooke? You know, the guy whose cheap shot effectively ended Savard's career? So here's an idea, yeah you Crosby=The Best, get off your soap box and put it away.

Let's take it one step further. We're fans, sitting behind keyboards. Most of us played some hockey, whether it was peewee, high school, or college. I'm doubting there's anybody on this board that's ever played in the NHL. I doubt anybody here's been a 250 pound power forward rolling down the ice like that. The NHL's VP was.  Alright, maybe not 250 pounds, but he talked to Lucic and was satisfied with the answers he got. Who are you to sit there and say Shanahan doesn't know what he's doing, and you do? How much experience do you have in the NHL to decide what's suspension worthy and what isn't? Hell, Shanahan's top 25 all time penalty minutes, the guy knows a penalty when he sees one.

Lucic got his two minutes. He "went to box and feel shame." It's over, move on.

Since: Jul 27, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 9:27 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

Even as a Bruins fan, I would rather see Lucic get a couple of games suspension and know that goalies are going to be protected than the other way around.  Our goalie is far too valuable to be allowing these kind of hits, no matter the intent.  From watching the play at full speed, I think the initial contact was the result of two guys going hard after the puck, which would fall under the "incidental contact rule."  But, I do think Lucic followed through with more force than necessary.  That being said, Buffalo had a chance to settle the score on the ice, but chose instead to talk tough to the media.

Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 9:26 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

the argument against Horton when he got his concussion was that he should have known he was vulnerable to a hit and instead of protecting himself he kept watching the puck.Now Miller cleared the puck away from Lucic and made absolutely no effort to move out of Lucic skating line or even to protect himself from the impact.
By your flawed logic, then, Rome should have just received a 2 minute penalty for interference and not 4 freaking games in the SCF.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 9:17 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

the argument against Horton when he got his concussion was that he should have known he was vulnerable to a hit and instead of protecting himself he kept watching the puck.Now Miller cleared the puck away from Lucic and made absolutely no effort to move out of Lucic skating line or even to protect himself from the impact.Fair enough you say as a goalie he is not "fair game" but he should still be aware at all times that he may be vulnerable to a hit.All it would have taken from Miller was a strategically placed raised stick not only would he have avoided the brunt of the collision he would also have guaranteed that Lucic would never pull a repeat.  

Since: Nov 14, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 9:10 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

Have another look at the video. Looch definately tried to run him but he went nowhere near his head. Miller should pay attention to is on the ice. If you watch thee video again you willl see that Miller attempts to throw the shoulder into him.

Since: Aug 23, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 9:09 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

What a bunch of crap!  Lucic pulled is English as a second language stuff
and he ran a goalie over.  Pathetic.  Should have been given 10 games and
then maybe other players might take notice.  When the league plays favorites
like this it does nothing but diminish their reputation about taking a stand
on further issues like this.  He could have skated around Miller and got a pass
in the crease and scored.  He's just big, and got away with it.  Forget anything
about a goalie being out of the crease, he had already cleared the puck.
Shame on the office to allow this to stand.  Two minutes.  What a joke.

Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 9:04 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

miami, you're such a cocky POS. In case you haven't noticed, there is a new emphasis on head shots. Not only did Lucic not try to avoid the contact, but he went toward the head with both hands. On a goalie. Again, if this were Thomas, you would be carrying on about it for weeks ala Burrows' nibble.

Compare this to the 4 games suspension in the STANLEY CUP FINALS for a hit that was deemed otherwise legal but a half second late. Don't believe me, look it up on youtube. Both resulted in concussions.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 9:01 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

Lucic is most certainly not "gutless"

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