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: Apr 21, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:52 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

However, incidental contact will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such unnecessary contact.

and that's what happened. 

looked clean to me.

man up Buffalo.  change your Man-pons and turn away the WHAAAA-mbulance.

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:51 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

How did everyone get so dumb? Is the internet to blame?

Since: Apr 21, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:47 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

Um, Miller sustained a concussion. 


We won't see him for WEEKS then, right?  

Since: Apr 21, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:47 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

No you don't "become" a skater. When did you start watching hockey, last week?? 

man up, Sarah. 

WAIT - i agree. therfore, the goalie should be allowed to leave the crease, skate up the ice with any and ALL players going to their benches because the goalie is still a goalie even if he is taking a poorly placed wrister from the slot of the opposing team's ice. 

thou shalt not touch the goalie even if he is skating up ice.

rules state that the opposing team should ask politely for the puck back and not engage the goalie otherwise. 

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:46 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

No suspension is needed, the Sabress should have dealt with it. Now However it does seem that people can get away with running goalies, at least in the eyes of the league. Most teams however will kick the guys butt when he does it.

Since: Apr 17, 2007
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:45 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

He flopped again with Lucic who didn't even hit him hard.

Um, Miller sustained a concussion. 

Look, the players either play by the rules or let's throw away the rule book.  No player is to have more than incidental contact with a goalie outside of the crease.  I have watched this "flop" as you call it, and see nothing but Lucic, after realizing he was on course to have a collision with Miller, slam right into Miller AND throw his arm up into Miller's head, severely enough to knock Miller's helmet off and inflict a concussion.  Miller should have received at least a two game suspension.

Since: Apr 28, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:43 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

I live in Buffalo and hate the Sabres and Bruins as I am from Philly.  And this makes me sick.  How did he get away with hit.  There was no intent?  He lost control of the puck and raised his arms to hit Miller.  People are getting suspensions for little cross checks and this guy take a 15-20 free skate on a goalie playing a puck.  Brendan Shanahan is a joke.  CONSISTANCY.  I hope Philly takes care of business and mops Lucic Up that pansy.  Miller said it best.....Gutless Piece of $hit

Since: Apr 4, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:38 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

Obviously you are disregard the NHL Policy/Rules as Shanahan referenced and you posted a naive comment

Shanahan said the minor penalty for charging was the proper call in this case because it follows Rule 42.1, which reads "a goalkeeper is not fair game just because he is outside the goal crease area."

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:37 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

Awesome - the NHL will be more fun to watch now that it will be open season on goaltenders.  Buckle up Timmy "Fat Boy" Thomas.

Since: Apr 24, 2008
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:36 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

No you don't "become" a skater. When did you start watching hockey, last week?? The goalie has not been fair game in 40 years. However, this does change everything. Shannahan's explanation was hilarious. " I wanted to hear his explanation." What did he think Lucic would've said....sure I ran him on purpose??? Everyone knows he did, and now he opened up a big can of worms. I've always thought the goalies should be fair game, and now apparantely they are.

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