It was a rough weekend in the NHL and remember, it's only the preseason.
On Saturday night in the tilt between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers, Canucks forward Zack Kassian not only drew himself a penalty but an in-person hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety which menas a big suspension is likely.
That's better than the Oilers have it, though, because the penalty was for high-sticking when Kassian's stick swung violently and caught the Oilers' Sam Gagner square in the jaw. Gagner was taken to the hospital and remained there Sunday night.
Per the Edmonton Journal, Gagner had his jaw broken in two places and lost a few teeth in the process. If there is any good news it's that he didn't have his jaw wired shut, which should potentially mean to a faster recovery. Right now it looks like Gagner will miss 6-8 weeks. The Oilers are expected to have an official update on Monday.
What tough news for the Oilers and Gagner. You work so hard all summer long to get ready for the season and then something like this happens and Gagner could potentially miss two months, all for an exhibition game.
As for Kassian, well he has to be in better control of his stick, much better. That's why the league is bringing him in for a hearing on this matter and remember, players are only offered in-person hearings to open up the potential suspension to five-plus games. That doesn't mean Kassian will get a suspension that long, but it's a pretty good indication.
Gagner had 14 goals and 24 assists last season in 48 games for the Oilers. Losing at him at center for an extended time would be tough for an Edmonton team that is already thin down the middle.