Oilers' Milan Lucic fined for jumping Lightning's Mathieu Joseph

Milan Lucic got off with a slap on the wrist for administering his own brand of justice on Tampa Bay’s Mathieu Joseph on Tuesday.

The Oilers forward was fined $10,000 — the maximum allowable under the CBA — by the NHL on Wednesday after jumping Lightning rookie Mathieu Joseph in the third period of Edmonton’s 5-2 loss in Tampa.

Lucic snapped like an overzealous bouncer after Jospeh banged up Kris Russell with a questionable although fairly innocuous-looking shot in the numbers minutes earlier. Joseph wasn’t penalized on the play, so Lucic decided to take matters into his own hands.

That’s some old-school thuggery right there by Lucic, who is the last guy you want hunting you down. Lucic was handed a pair of minors (interference, roughing) and a game misconduct for his actions, while Joseph escaped relatively unscathed.

Steven Stamkos, who was visibly enraged and barking at the Oilers bench after the play, called it “a premeditated, blindside hit” in the postgame scrum.

The Oilers on the other hand predictably saw things a little differently. Head coach Todd McLellan praised Lucic for standing up for his teammate, one of the few remaining skills he has in the toolbag.

Milan Lucic is escorted off the ice after laying a beat down on Mathieu Joseph. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Milan Lucic is escorted off the ice after laying a beat down on Mathieu Joseph. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

“You know, there’s nothing wrong with that,” McLellan said. “We felt that a player took a liberty with Kris Russell. I agree with the liberty part of it and part of the reason we have Lucic here is to take care of teammates and he did that.”

Lucic has been suspended three times in his career, including most recently in 2016 for sucker punching Kevin Connauton of the Coyotes.

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