By now every Oilers fan is aware that Sam Gagner is out indefinitely with a broken jaw, courtesy of Zack Kassian of the Vancouver Canucks. The injury leaves the Oilers in dire straits of a centreman, a real centreman and not a left winger that you can convert to play up the middle.
The Oilers won the game Saturday night but it didn’t feel like much of a victory when thinking about Gagner’s injury that will see him miss the start of the regular season and further pigeon hold this hockey club in terms of options at centre.
News last night broke that Kassian has been summoned for an in-person hearing with the league to review the incident with Gagner that saw the Canucks’ forward lose control of his stick. Intentional or not, a player has to be in control of his stick.
Early reaction is mixed when it comes to whether or not Kassian should be suspended. Anytime you have an in-person hearing the outlook is grim for that particular player and with the league continuing to crack down on careless and reckless plays, this is another opportunity to set an example.
According to a report on TSN, Kassian had the following to say when talking about the incident:
I was going to try to hit him and he stopped quick. I went with the shoulder and lost control and swung my stick and hit him in the face. The guy has a broken jaw. You never want to see that happen. But if you look at the replay, it’s hard to purposely tomahawk and swing your stick and hit somebody in the face.
Once again, a player must be in control of his stick and Kassian himself admits he lost that ability on the play. Does it warrant a suspension? That’s what we are asking you the reader.