Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian has waived his right to have an in-person hearing for his kick to the chest of Tampa Bay Lightning’s Erik Cernak.
The NHL Department of Player Safety announced that a phone hearing will be conducted on Friday afternoon instead.
The hearing can result in a suspension of six games or more games.
During the first period of Thursday night’s game in Tampa Bay, Kassian became tangled with the Lightning player on the ice and appeared to kick Cernak as they struggled to separate.
“It felt like we were there a lifetime. We were down there for a while,” Kassian said after the game on Thursday. “He was holding my leg, it was reactionary. I was just trying to get him off me, kick him off me. I was just trying to get my foot loose.”
Cernak added: “He kicked me right in the chest, so luckily that wasn’t higher. I knew right away when he was on the ice he kicked me. I think he was a little bit mad and I asked him what was wrong with him, because that’s not a right play to do on the ice, and he didn’t say nothing.”
Kassian already made headlines for a suspension in January, for being an aggressor in the well-documented altercation with Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk in the Battle of Alberta. That suspension also makes him a repeat offender, which will be a factor in the league’s decision this time.
The Oilers close out their road trip with back-to-back games against the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes this weekend.