Edmonton Oilers' Zack Kassian on Matthew Tkachuk: 'He messed with the wrong guy'Sporting News — email@example.com (Sporting News)
The Zack Kassian/Matthew Tkachuk story is far from over.
Three days have passed since Kassian took matters into his own hands in retaliation to checks from Tkachuk that Kassian deemed unnecessarily aggressive. When all of the (one-sided) fighting was over, the punches issued, the body slams conducted and the penalties assessed, the league handed Kassian a two-game suspension and ruled Tkachuk's acts completely legal.
But the final word has not been said, and according to Kassian, the intensity could continue when the two meet again in a couple of weeks.
"I'm not crying about the hits, it's hockey. It's a game of hockey. It's rough," Kassian told reporters. "You play with fire, eventually you're going to get burned. He messed with the wrong guy and I don't think he realizes that we are in the same division and [I] have a great memory."
He also recognized that he has both taken hits and delivered them with equal intensity but dirty or not, he categorized the checks as dangerous.
"If they're clean, they're still predatorial which is completely fine," he said. "I'm a big boy. I love big boy hockey but if you're going to play big boy hockey, you've gotta answer the bell every once in a while."
Kassian's suspension will be completed before the next edition of the "Battle of Alberta" on Jan. 29 in Edmonton. Three days later, they will do it again in Calgary. The only other meeting between the two is the regular-season finale on April 4 in Calgary as well.