The NHL has seen stars like Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Jakub Voracek all suspended over the past month and Edmonton Oilers winger Milan Lucic believes the league's Department of Player Safety is right to not play favourites.
Lucic, who's been suspended twice in his NHL career, noted that star players have more to lose financially when they sit out a game, but believes every player should be held to the same standard.
“Everyone has to be treated evenly, I guess, for dirty plays, if you want to call them that, or head shots,” Lucic told the Edmonton Sun. “I mean, those are three guys with not much history. They aren’t out there picking heads or trying to hurt guys, by any means.
“But [the NHL] is trying to keep the head shots down. [Star players] get dinged up a little more with their salaries coming off on a game-to-game basis when you sit out.
“Obviously, those are guys you want to showcase, you don’t want them sitting in the stands. You want them on the ice promoting the game because the fans are paying top dollar to come and watch them, but at the end of the day, George [Parros, head of Player Safety] and his staff have a job to do.”
Lucic, 30, has been suspended twice, each for one game, and fined four times in his NHL career. He said he reminded McDavid, who picked up a two-game suspension for a hit to the head last month, that they're now equal in the suspension category.
“When Connor got suspended, I told him we’ve now been suspended for the same amount of games. So you can put him in the same category as me, if you want,” Lucic said.