As announced by the Department of Player Safety this morning, Milan Lucic will receive a hearing today for the “roughing/sucker punch” on Arizona’s Kevin Connauton from the third period of Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes. Per Lisa Dillman of the Times, that hearing is scheduled to take place at noon.
This is not unexpected. Though Lucic was reacting to a hard slash that he believed at the time may have caused a serious injury, and though he was unhappy with referee Brad Meier’s handling of past incidents – Meier was a referee during the Kings-Sharks season opener in which Lucic was assessed a match penalty for roughing Logan Couture that was later rescinded – altercations in which an unsuspecting player is punched in the face, even when gloved, will result in a fine or suspension. This is somewhat similar to the Jordan Nolan – Jesse Joensuu incident from two seasons ago in which Nolan was suspended for one game for a gloved punch towards what the DPS categorized as “an unsuspecting Joensuu.”
Lucic has been suspended twice in his career (for two games total) and has also been fined three times, as has been reported publicly. Though there is a good chance that he’ll be unavailable for tonight’s game against San Jose, Lucic, by and large, has successfully avoided these types of incidents in his Kings tenure. After his rescinded match penalty against the Sharks in the season opener – Darryl Sutter said “at best, that’s a minor penalty,” and referred to the infraction as “borderline” roughing – he has logged fighting majors against Darnell Nurse and Brandon Bollig amidst 11 minor penalties prior to Saturday’s game.
Los Angeles faces San Jose at 7:00 p.m. at the SAP Center this evening.