Brendan Lemieux has been suspended five games for biting Brady Tkachuk.
Yes, he actually bit him and will now sit out for two weeks in punishment of his actions. Interestingly enough, Lemieux and his father Claude, have now become the first father-son duo in all of professional sports to both serve biting suspensions (1986).
The two were engaged in a wrestling match late in the third period of a one-goal game on Saturday evening in Los Angeles. Tkachuk, a forward on the Ottawa Senators, emerged from the grappling incident wildly waving a bleeding hand at the on-ice officials.
“It was the most gutless thing somebody can ever do,” Tkachuk said post-game. “This guy, you can ask any one of his teammates, nobody ever wants to play with him. This guy is a bad guy and a bad teammate; he focuses on himself all the time.”
The referees and video review specialists went over the video and handed the Los Angeles Kings forward a five minute major match penalty and a game misconduct for the play, effectively ending his night early.
“Kids don’t even do that anymore; babies do that,” Tkachuk added when mentioning he received multiple bites from Lemieux. “I don’t even know what he was thinking. He’s just a complete brick head. He’s got nothing up there. Bad guy, bad player, but what a joke he is.”
Lemieux was asked to participate in a suspension hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety via Zoom, to which the decision on a five-game ban came to be.
“This is not a hockey play,” read the narrator in the NHL’s official suspension video. “This is a player delivering a forceful intentional and potentially dangerous bite to the bare hand of another player with sufficient force to puncture the skin.”
Along with the five-game ban, Lemieux will also lose $38,750 of his salary under the terms of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
“While circumstantial evidence supports the argument that Lemieux may have bitten Tkachuk multiple times during this fight, we are limiting our review of this incident to the bite that occurs almost immediately after the players fall to the ice,” the narrator on the NHL video, says. “Due to a lack of evidence, this decision does not include an analysis of how Tkachuk ended up bleeding from his right hand.”
It really doesn’t take much to see what happened on the ice, but if the cameras can’t prove it, circumstantial evidence sometimes has to be enough.
Lemieux has four goals and five points in 13 games for the Kings this season. He suited up in 53 games for the Winnipeg Jets over the course of two seasons. The 25-year-old had 10 goals, 12 points and 85 penalty minutes in that timespan.