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Hot Links: Friday, February 14

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Happy Valentine’s Day, Oilers fans! May your TV dinner for one provide you with the warmth the Oilers couldn’t last night.

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Edmonton Oilers v Tampa Bay Lightning
Kassian working on his kicking motion.
Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

Morning, folks!

Tough loss last night in Tampa Bay in a game that saw the Oilers lose 1-3 to a very impressive Lightning team missing three of their top six scorers. In some ways a loss like that is helpful in that it can highlight just how much has to be done to the roster as it is to compete with the league’s truly elite teams.

The biggest story this morning, however, is Zack Kassian’s kick heard round the world. The laces were in! They were in!!! News broke in the wee hours this morning that Kassian will indeed have an in-person hearing with the NHL’s DOP(e)S, meaning they could suspend him for six games or more.

Honestly, intent or otherwise, these are the kinds of actions that the game HAS TO legislate out, completely and entirely. Even if they throw all the books at him, it might still be one book too few. It is imperative to the game of hockey that the NHL makes it absolutely, unequivocally clear that no matter your intent, it is absolutely forbidden and anyone who engages in such behavior will be absolutely mangled by the league. Not meaning to, or not hurting the guy you attack with your literal blade of steel, should not be a factor here. The action itself is egregious, and needs to be punished accordingly. It needs to be made abundantly clear to every NHL player, present and future, that this can never, ever happen.

So I’m expecting a maximum fine as allowed by the CBA and for Kassian to walk away scot-free. Seriously, who knows? Who could possibly guess? Zdeno Chara just received such a fine — and only such a fine — for trying to crush Brendan Gallagher’s trachea earlier this week.

News broke yesterday that Oilers executive Scott Howson will likely be leaving the organization to replace the outgoing AHL President and CEO Dave Andrews.

Lowetide tried to make sense of the Oilers’ defensive depth chart, which is legitimately crowded for the first time in what feels like an eternity.

In extremely recent breaking news — like five minutes ago — the Minnesota Wild have parted ways with head coach Bruce Boudreau. There is one coach with a higher winning percentage than Boudreau: Scotty Bowman. While his playoff resume isn’t quite as impressive, it is impossible to deny his regular season achievements. Here’s hoping he doesn’t find work in Calgary.

The Oilers are back in action tomorrow afternoon, in Florida to take on the Panthers in a 2PM matinee. Check back here in the morning for our usual routine and we’ll see you then.

From Us

GAME RECAP: Oilers 1, Lightning 3. (Copper and Blue)

Should Kassian be suspended? (Copper and Blue)

GAME THREAD: Edmonton Oilers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (Copper and Blue)

GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (Copper and Blue)

From Elsewhere

The Intent Is What Matters In Zack Kassian’s Dangerous Kick (THN)

I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (Lowetide)

Zack Kassian And Other Times NHL Players Have Kicked (Or Stomped) Opponents (CBC)

Oilers’ Zack Kassian To Have In-Person Hearing For Kick On Erik Cernak (Sportsnet)

Morning Report: Oilers @ Lightning (13 February) (Oilersnation)

REPORT: Oilers Howson To Join AHL (Oilers Rig)

Lightning Strike For 9th Consecutive Win Against McDavid-Less Oilers (CBC)

Edmonton Oilers Open Road Trip With Loss To Lighting (Sun)

For Money

Lowetide: Making Sense Of The Oilers Defensive Depth Chart For The Stretch Run And The Summer (Athletic)

‘It Was Reactionary’: Oilers’ Zack Kassian Addresses Alleged Kick; Lightning Depth Strikes; And Kailer Yamamoto’s Big Game (Athletic)