Kassian tried to hit Gagner and when he missed, he carelessly swung his stick around, catching the Oilers’ forward in the mouth, knocking several teeth out while breaking his jaw. The injury resulted in Gagner having to undergo surgery today to repair the break that will include a metal plate being inserted.
As a result of the act, Kassian will sit for the remaining three pre-season games along with the first five regular season games the Canucks will play. Unfortunately that will include the Canucks home opener on October 5th when the Oilers make their first trip to the west coast. Only now they have Steve MacIntyre on the team and will surely dress for that particular game. It’s just too bad that Kassian will have to wait to answer the bell.
Now the debate begins. Is eight games enough for Kassian? Gagner will likely miss at least that many regular season games, begging the question if the league should consider “an eye for an eye” theory when it comes to situations like this.
Kassian’s defense on the play was that Gagner moved and he lost control of his stick. Guilty as charged when hearing that “he lost control” simply because a player must have control of his stick at all times. Failure to do so will result in a penalty or in this case a suspension.
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