The NHL announced Tuesday that Los Angeles Kings forward Brendan Lemieux has been suspended five games for biting Ottawa Senators forward Brady Tkachuk during a Saturday matchup between the teams.
The two clashed during a scrum following a stoppage of play. Tkachuk tackled Lemieux to the ice while the two wrestled, and while on the ice Lemieux bit Tkachuk's ungloved hand.
Chris Johnston @reporterchris
Key part of this ruling: "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." <a href="https://t.co/0X3bGynzBx">https://t.co/0X3bGynzBx</a>
Frank Seravalli @frank_seravalli
.<a href="https://twitter.com/NHLPlayerSafety?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NHLPlayerSafety</a>: Lemieux argued Tkachuk’s hand was punctured from punching Lemieux in the tooth.<br><br>Video evidence, postgame inspection and medical info from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sens?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sens</a> training staff was included in analysis.<br><br>Ruling was on first bite. Not conclusive on injury to Tkachuk’s right hand
Tkachuk was furious following the incident, ranting about Lemieux while speaking to reporters after the game:
"This is the one time I'm going to answer this. It was the most gutless thing somebody could ever do. 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 guy's just a joke. He shouldn't be in the league. This guy's gutless. No other team wants him. He's going to keep begging to be in the NHL, but no other team wants him, he's an absolute joke. I can't even wrap my head around it. People don't even do this. He's just a bad guy.
"It's outrageous. Kids don't even do that anymore. Babies do that. 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."
Kings' goalie Jonathan Quick stood up for Lemieux, however:
Shawn Simpson @TSNSimmer
Quick defends Lemieux, while giving Tkachuk a shot. <a href="https://twitter.com/TSN1200?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TSN1200</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TSNJR?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TSNJR</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TSNHammer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TSNHammer</a> <a href="https://t.co/oGYeaaXMrq">pic.twitter.com/oGYeaaXMrq</a>
The Lemieux-Tkachuk rivalry is nothing new, dating back to the playing days of Claude Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk, the respective fathers of Brendan Lemieux and Brady Tkachuk.
Those two squared off in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
Claude Lemieux was an enforcer during his playing days and had a reputation for being more than a little dirty. In Game 4 the 1986 Stanley Cup Finals while playing for the Montreal Canadiens, he bit the finger of Calgary Flames winger Jim Peplinski during a late-game scrum.
Like father, like son.
"I didn't know they allowed cannibalism in the NHL," Peplinski famously told reporters after the incident.
They don't. These days, it will earn you at least a five-game suspension.