Flames’ Brad Treliving ‘vehemently’ disagrees with Lucic suspension

Watch as Milan Lucic goes after Kole Sherwood after the Blue Jackets’ defenceman got a bit too close to David Rittich.

Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving came to Milan Lucic’s defence Sunday after the veteran winger was suspended two games for roughing.

“We’ve got the utmost respect for George Parros and the Department of Player Safety, but on this one we vehemently disagree,” Treliving said.

The suspension was handed down after Lucic sucker punched Blue Jackets rookie Kole Sherwood in Saturday’s 3-0 Flames win. The punch was in response to Sherwood stabbing his stick at Flames goalie David Rittich looking for a rebound to a shot.

Lucic was given four minutes for roughing and Sherwood was given two minutes for slashing on the play.

“I thought the play was handled by the on-ice officiating staff correctly last night,” Teliving said. “I saw a player who poked, jabbed, whacked, speared the goaltender. I think 31 teams around the league, if you do that, there’s going to be a reaction.”

The Department of Player Safety said they came to the decision due to the fact that Sherwood and Lucic were not engaged in mutual combat and Sherwood was not given any chance to defend himself. They added revenge does not excuse a player from doing their own illegal act.

The department also cited two other times Lucic had been suspended or fined for punching unsuspecting players.

“I don’t think it falls to the level where Milan is sitting out for the next two games,” Treliving said. “We support our player 100 per cent. We want our players to support each other, back each other up and we felt that’s what Milan was doing in this case.”

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