Zack Kassian kicks opponent in the chest with his skate

Thomas Williams
Hockey writer
Zack Kassian is starting to use the blades on his feet now. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian had a switch flipped against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night and did something mind-blowing as a result.

In a heated tussle while down on the ice with Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak, Kassian decided to kick him away using his foot. That foot, of course, has a skate boot and knife-like blade attached to it.

"That play he was holding my leg and it was just reactionary. I just tried to get loose. I was laying there awhile and I was trying to get my leg out and get moving,” Kassian told reporters after the game.

Even with the Oilers forward’s defense of the incident, Cernak is looking for the silver lining in it all.

“I think he was a little bit mad,” the Lightning defenseman said. “I asked him what was wrong with him? Because that’s not the right play, what to do on the ice. He didn’t say nothing. So I don’t know. Lucky it wasn’t higher.”

Kassian will have an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Friday, giving the league the option to suspend him for more than six games.

This incident comes just weeks after the saga with Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk, which resulted in a two-game suspension for Kassian. That will certainly factor into the discipline he’ll receive on Friday.

Through 51 games played this season Kassian has 14 goals and 30 points, which are both career-highs.

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