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Lightning Round: Zach Kassian is suspended for seven games for kicking Eric Cernak

In other news, the Minnesota Wild have parted ways with head coach Bruce Boudreau.

Edmonton Oilers v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

On Friday the NHL Department of Player Safety announced that Edmonton Oilers forward Zach Kassian was suspended for seven games for his kick in the chest of the Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Eric Cernak.

Kassian was offered an in-person meeting but waived his right, instead a phone hearing was conducted yesterday. As a repeat offender Zach Kassian will be fined $166,463.41. He was previously suspended as a Vancouver Canucks player, missing the first five games in the 2013-14 season for high-sticking and later in the same season for his hit on Brenden Dillon. Kassian was also involved in attack on the Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk during the Battle of Alberta on January 14, and was eventually suspended for two games.

That suspension leaves the Oilers without their top line at least until the end of February. Connor McDavid is out for approximately two to three weeks, and James Neal is out indefinitely. The Oilers are still in the race for a playoff spot.

Lightning Org News

The Lightning reassigned forward Alex Volkov to the Syracuse Crunch. The 22-year-old forward played 10:43 against the Edmonton Oilers and did not register any points.

It also indicates that at least one player of Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov or Anthony Cirelli will be available for tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. All three players were on the ice during the yesterday’s practice, although the final decision will be made today. Tyler Johnson missed last practice and will be a game-time decision according to Jon Cooper.

Other Hockey News

Yesterday the Minnesota Wild announced that head coach Bruce Boudreau was fired by general manager Bill Guerin. Assistant coach Dean Evanson was named an interim coach for the remaining part of the season.

After 57 games of the season the Minnesota Wild sit at the sixth place in the Central Division with 61 points, three points behind the last wild card spot in the Western Conference while having several games in hand. The team has been dealing with poor goaltending during the whole season. Earlier this week the Wild traded forward Jason Zucker to Pittsburgh in exchange for Alex Galchencyuk, prospect Calen Addison, and a conditional first-round draft pick.

Bruce Boudreau has become the eight head coach fired during this season. Jon Cooper remains the longest tenured coach.

The St. Louis Blues announced that Jay Bouwmeester has undergone a successful Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) procedure yesterday. The defenceman suffered a cardiac episode during the game against the Anaheim Ducks. The Blues will provide an update on his status in the next week

The AHL revealed their new President and CEO. Scott Howson will take over his new position next summer.