Despite a history of suspensions and having a reputation as being one of the nastiest players in the league, the NHL handed down only a one-game suspension to the Kings’ Milan Lucic after sucker punching a member of the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday night, according to an ESPN report.
Lucic delivered a punch to the head to Kevin Connauton after the play was whistled dead and when Connauton was not suspecting, prompting officials to eject him from the game. The Kings would go on to lose the game 3-2.
Lucic was defiant after the ejection, claiming he got slashed on the wrists and that “thankfully” the X-rays were negative, and that him reacting in the way he did is what got the officials to call a penalty in the first place on the Coyotes.
Lucic also took a shot at referee Brad Meier, who he claimed was biased against him and had thrown him out several times before.
Lucic forfeited $32,258.06 in salary and missed the game against the San Jose Sharks, which the Kings won 3-2. Lucic has 12 goals and 17 assists on the season.
Lucic, who had been a staple on the Boston Bruins, was traded to the Kings back in June for the No. 13 overall selection in the 2015 draft, goaltender Martin Jones, and prospect Colin Miller.
He has certainly enjoyed benefits from the trade in terms of the quality of team he is on. While the Bruins struggle to get a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, Lucic’s Kings have surged to the top of the Pacific Conference and are one of the best teams in the league.