The NHL is a joke.
At least when it comes to the NHL head office, conflicts of interest and disciplinary matters.
This penalty carries with it an automatic 10-game suspension for the player, with possible suspensions or fines for his coach as well.
Rule 70.10 of the NHL rulebook:
"The first player to leave the players’ or penalty bench during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation from either or both teams shall be suspended automatically without pay for the next ten (10) regular League and/or Play-off games of his team."
The NHL, in its infinite wisdom, decided to overrule veteran officials Don Van Massenhoven and Dan O'Rourke, and rescind Lucic's game misconduct.
In the NHL's official press release regarding this, Terry Gregson, NHL senior vice president and director of officiating announced:
"It should be further noted that a review of the video confirmed that all players on both teams involved in the altercation had entered the ice legally for the purpose of joining the play. None entered the ice for the purpose of joining or starting an altercation, which is prohibited by Rule 70."
Apparently Mr. Gregson didn't even bother to watch the video highlights on his own website.
You can view the official NHL video highlight here.
Pause it 10 seconds in.
Count the Bruins on ice.
You can clearly see five Bruins, including Lucic, on the outside of the scrum. And if you look closely, there is a sixth Bruin in the middle of the pile. You can see his leg through the pileup.
Now as six skaters for the Bruins are in the scrum, and Tim Thomas is in his net… how exactly is the NHL rescinding Lucic's game misconduct (and the automatic 10-game suspension) for coming off the bench to join the scrum?
Lucic came off, his replacement came on, and then Lucic steps back out the open door to rush into the melee.
There are six Bruins skaters on the ice, engaged in a melee with the five Canucks.
The on-ice officials got it totally correct.
And once again, the NHL blew the call when a Bruin should be suspended.
But that is to be expected. Just ask Ryan Miller. Or Mason Raymond. Or Max Pacioretty.
"We'll let the League, again, take care of that stuff." Bruins head coach Claude Julien said confidently, speaking to reporters after the game.
Yes, once again, the NHL has taken care of the Bruins.
Oh, and who is Mr. Gregson's boss? Why, that would be Colin Campbell, whose son Gregory happens to play for the Bruins.
And who is Mr. Campbell's boss? Gary Bettman is the commissioner, but the chairman of the NHL Board of Governors is Jeremy Jacobs, who happens to be the owner of the Bruins.
I'll let you draw your own conclusions about any conspiracies, conflicts of interest and if the Bruins are judged differently when it comes to suspensions.
But in this case, the video evidence speaks for itself.