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Photo Credit: Candice Ward / USA Today Sports

Matthew Tkachuk suspended two games for elbowing Drew Doughty

The Calgary Flames begin a three game eastern road trip Tuesday evening against the Washington Capitals. But they’ll be doing it without a key piece of their team, as the National Hockey League has suspended rookie winger Matthew Tkachuk for two games for elbowing Drew Doughty during last night’s game.

In their suspension video, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety cited the contact to Doughty’s face and the reckless nature of the infraction in deciding that it merited supplemental discipline. They didn’t buy Tkachuk’s explanation that he was merely trying to protect the puck.

The suspension will be served on Tuesday against Washington and Thursday against Nashville. As a result of the suspension, Tkachuk will forfeit a portion of his salary to the NHL’s Player Emergency Fund. The Flames are currently carrying one extra forward, Freddie Hamilton, so given they’ll be without Tkachuk and Micheal Ferland (who’s not on the road trip) for the next couple games expect them to recall a player prior to Tuesday’s game.

  • Blackgold

    He now has a history of suspension. The length will keep getting bigger. For a 19 year old and the way he plays, he could sitting out more than he plays in future years. Too bad, he is a dynamic player, but has to be smarter when playing on the edge.

  • piscera.infada

    I said this in the previous article about this, but…

    I didn’t like the play, but I do like finally having a Flames’ player that plays a little greasy–especially when it comes to games against teams that scheme their game against the Flames that way (LA, Anaheim, whoever Boudreau is coaching…). So whatever, I’m a hypocrite. It’s just nice to not only see some push-back, but some dish-out as well.

    It was dirty. The suspension is warranted, in my mind. He’ll be suspended again. Just hope he learns to walk the line a little cleaner next time. Whatever happens though, don’t take the edge out of your game, son.

    • The Doctor

      I agree with your thoughts about those other teams. Take Anaheim as a prime example. For years they’ve been pushing us around etc., and Kesler stands out in that regard. Really, Kesler (whom I loathe) has a lot in common with MT — skilled but also very nasty. Now we have someone who can irritate Anaheim and their fans as much as Kesler irritates us. I like it.

      • Derzie

        Kesler & Matthew are not alike. The kid doesn’t even change his facial expression. He’s just playing the game and not backing down. Kesler smirks and trash talks like the human garbage that he is. Night and day.

        • Bob Cobb

          At least Kesler will fight after making a dirty play, Tkachuk slew footed Davidson when he was with Edmonton, Davidson missed 30+ games and challenged Tkachuk in a game and he backed down but Kesler is the one who is the human garbage.

      • GinYCC

        Kessler is a classic agitator (annoying slashes, dives, yappy), but he rarely crosses that line into being a dirty player where we could be injuring a player. Thachuk is dirty. He has made several plays this year where there has been an intent to injure. Hopefully he grows out of it and becomes a Kessler or he’ll be a regular on suspension.

  • ZoilerZ

    Glad to see the suspension so his future antics won’t be ignored. Hopefully this will factor into his inevitable future slew foots, but with the NHL’s record, I kinda doubt it.

  • dontcryWOLF88

    So who plays with Backlund and Frolik until Tkachuk is back?

    I say Bennett goes up. If he cant play good with those guys, something is wrong. Might be what Bennett has been missing all year.

  • Stu Cazz

    Additions like Tkachuk, Chiasson & Brouwer have made the team bigger and heavier. No longer can the California teams push the Flames around. The impact of these guys on size alone has really changed the dynamics of the team…..Bring on the Ducks, as a fan I want to see the Flames play them in the playoffs…..

  • Derzie

    I understand the sentiment behind the suspension but if the refs continue to let crafty veterans cheat and corkscrew, hold and grab, vigilante justice kicks in. Matthew has off the charts hockey sense and he also knows when he’s getting the business from the refs for being a rookie in the presence of a celbrated vet like Doughty. He choose to fly an elbow. He could have turned and smashed him in the mouth with a fist and got 5 minutes instead of 2 games but life goes on. I support Matthew 100%. Next meeting if Doughty does the same, smack him again. Choose the fist this time and be around for the next game.

  • The GREAT WW

    The NHL better do something; Byng is making a mockery of the 2016 draft.
    Dubois, Puljujarvi and Jolevi look like piles of crap compared to the 6th overall pick….

    WW

      • The GREAT WW

        Two words: draft order….

        The point is; the Oilers could have had Byng Tkachuk….they also could have had Gaudreau, Backlund, Ferland, Brodie, Giordano etc…all these players were available to the Oilers but the Oilers were too dumb to draft them.
        Name me ONE player the Flames could have drafted on the Oilers team that they actually want.
        Nurse over Monahan?!
        Give me a break…

        WW

        • Bob Cobb

          The Oilers were never going to draft Tkachuk, they were going to take a Defensemen but when Puljujarvi was passed over by Columbus they had to take him and that’s a known fact. Seems to me Gio was undrafted and Gaudreau went in the 4th or 5th so obviously the Oilers aren’t the only ones to dumb to draft them and your point is invalid Oh Great One!

        • Randaman

          Nurse over Monahan?? Give your head a shake Walter. Monahan was drafted one position higher than Nurse so he wasn’t available. Do some research before you chirp. P.S. Byng is a great player but you have to admit he is a dirty player that will get his soon enough. They always do.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    Hmmmmm???? Where were the NHL’s Department of Player Safety when JH Was getting Hacked and Slashed all the way to the operating table??? Hypocrites!
    Matt is going to have to learn how to hide/tone-down his gritty-bits a lot better… No Worries! see you in a couple games then Matt, Flames will be just fine.

  • Newbietwo

    Did he elbow him in the head yes.. do I believe he meant to NO.. it’s about intent and there is no one around so all eyes are on him there is no way he will do that intentionally in that situation..

    You know the league has no place to hand out suspensions for a play like that.. fine the guy but that’s it! It’s a contact sport, a mans game stop turning everyone into metro sexuals.. I know it’s to appease the soft men in the states but seriously

  • RKD

    Matthew is a great player but he walks the line as if it were a tightrope, he just needs to be more careful and play smarter or else he will develop a bad reputation. He’s got enough offensive talent to not even worry about this stuff. Just play your game son and you will soar!

  • Zalapski

    If anyone is going to take an elbow to the face and cry about it, it’s Doughty. The guy seems to constantly complain. I’ve been to 3 Flames and Kings over the past 2 years and you can hear him from the upper bowl complaining to the officials. Was it a clean play? No. Did it deserve more than a one game suspension? In my opinion, no. I feel like this was a play where 2 guys have been at one and other over the course of the season and it crossed the line, Doughty was fine. Did no one see Pearson go high on MT right after? Doughty and Tkachuk should settle this the old fashion way but I assume someone like Kyle Clifford or Jordan Nolan will be the ones that answer the bell for the mouthpiece. It’s good to know the Flames have a player who can put up points, drive people crazy and isn’t afraid to cross push the boundaries of cleanliness. Theo is the last guy they had like that. It’s about dang time there was another.

  • JusAFlamer

    I agree with the suspension.
    He just needs to learn and not cross over the line.
    Been 99% better since start of season where he was in box about 3 times a game.

    Only thing i find questionable is consistency of these calls and severity.
    Take a baseball swing at guys head and connect = 6 games. Slash away at guys hands and break fingers = nadda.
    Just want to see it called evenly across league.

  • Burnward

    Been a long time since they had a player like this. Doughty respects the hard game like that. Two old school players in a battle. The kid got this one. Won’t be the last. And both are okay with that.

  • The Sultan

    Whatever. Doughty is a little girl if he let a 19 year old put him in his place. The beauty of it is Tkachuk will be playing in the playoffs come April, and Doughty will be playing golf (if his face doesn’t still hurt).

  • The Sultan

    Also Doughty can hack slash and grab but he gets a taste of his own medicine and Tkachuk gets suspended? And why is everyone play with this? Guaranteed Tkachuk doesn’t let that happen Doughty doesn’t instigate it. Where did the backbone of some of our fans go? Oh, he deserved it, oh, he better learn to tone it down. Go watch soccer or basketball if that’s what you want. Tkachuk is the best thing to happen to the Flames since Ferland went Ferkland on the Canucks two years ago.

    • Lucky 13

      Sultan I agree with you there. Doughty is a premier defence man in the league, but I’ve watched a lot of his games and he is by far the biggest chirper on the ice.
      He is constantly berating other players, taunting them with no regard, because he has a high opinion of himself.

      I honestly feel he got in Tkachuk’s grill and Tkachuk sent him a message.

      Unfortunately he’s a rookie and veterans hate being shown up by them.
      Even Doughty said” he’s a rookie and he plays like that” insinuating that he doesn’t agree with a rookie having the testes to pull that off.

      Doughty is a crybaby and I hope for Tkachuk’s sake he feeds him the bottle again, only without the elbow.

  • RedMan

    I love how the trolls think they are hurting our feelings with their comments. actually makes the whole affair even better. This team is looking like a real TEAM, and playing like this, they have the potential to make some noise in the playoffs.

    • 99CupsofCoffey

      I’ve got to hand it to the Flames, at midseason it looked like it was all crumbling down but they pulled themselves up by their jockstraps and played NHL hockey. Been fun following the standings lately, seeing the Oilers and Flames battle it out for position.

  • P0pcan

    I think 2 games is the right call for a first suspension for a elbow to the head nurse got 2 games for a fight completely ridiculous by the way not a fan of either team more of the sport and I will be watching there next game to see what happens interested to see how things work out for in playoffs for players like this when you have to answer for your actions in 2 days