Roberto Luongo Rips 'Gutless' Max Domi After Sucker Punch on Aaron Ekblad

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2018

FILE - In this April 2, 2018, file photo, Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo skates back onto the ice for an encore after the Panthers' 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in an NHL hockey game, in Sunrise, Fla. Luongo has made his money, knows he's headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame one day, ranks among the sport's all-time leaders in virtually every goaltending category. Yet at 39, he's still chasing the thing he wants most _ the Stanley Cup. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper, File)
Joe Skipper/Associated Press

Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo called Montreal Canadiens winger Max Domi "gutless" for landing a sucker punch on Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad during Wednesday's preseason game between the teams.

The Associated Press reported Ekblad was removed from the exhibition contest after getting punched in the nose. He later cleared the NHL's concussion protocol.

"I'm sure the league will look at it, and we definitely won't forget about it," Luongo said. "You don't do that. You respect your opponents, and if your opponent doesn't want to engage in a fight, there's no reason to drop your glove and punch him square in the face. Bit of a gutless play. You don't do those types of things."

Domi and Ekblad engaged in a verbal exchange before the Habs forward dropped his right glove to fight. Although the Panthers blueliner didn't agree to the bout, Domi threw a punch anyway and knocked Ekblad to the ice. He was ejected from the game.

Montreal winger Jonathan Drouin came to his teammate's defense, per the AP: "The two were arguing with one another. I saw a pretty big slash from Ekblad on Max, and Max just took matters into his own hands. It's also Ekblad's fault for not protecting himself."

The Canadiens acquired Domi from the Arizona Coyotes in a June swap for Alex Galchenyuk. His father, Tie Domi, was one of the NHL's most notorious enforcers during his playing career and ranks third in league history with 3,515 penalty minutes.

It's unclear whether he will face any supplemental discipline for the incident. The Habs have five preseason games left before opening the regular season Oct. 3 against the rival Toronto Maple Leafs.

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