Oilers' Kassian offered in-person hearing for kicking Lightning's Cernak

Oilers' Zack Kassian kicks opponent in chest with skate during game

Oilers forward Zack Kassian is about to get suspended for kicking a guy | Offside

Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian is scheduled for a phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety Friday afternoon after kicking a Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman.

The incident occurred after Kassian and Cernak got tangled up along the boards in the first period and fell to the ice, with Kassian delivering a kick to Cernak's chest while lying underneath him. That foot, of course, has a skate boot and steak knife-like blade attached to it.

Kassian was suspended two games on January 13 for serving as the aggressor in an altercation with Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk on January 11.

"He was holding my leg, it was reactionary", he told Sportsnet's Mark Spector. I just tried to get loose. "I was trying to get off and pull my leg off". "I think he was little bit mad". "I asked him what was wrong with him, because that's not the right play". Because that's not the right play, what to do on the ice. "Lucky it wasn't higher".

In-person hearings are typically a precursor to a lengthy ban, as the National Hockey League must offer one for any suspensions lasting six games or more.

Kassian also sat out 32 games in the 2015-16 season during a stint with Montreal for substance abuse issues unrelated to on-ice conduct.

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