Did Lucic leave the bench to join in a line brawl?

I’m confused about the NHL quickly rescinding Milan Lucic’s game misconduct after the Canucks’ 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins.

The league is apparently saying that Lucic was on a legal line change, and thus was allowed to be on the ice while the line brawl was happening. But I have a couple of issues with this.

With a hat tip to the poster from HF Boards who pointed this out, first is NHL rule 70.1 which states:

70.1 Leaving the Bench – No player or goalkeeper may leave the players’ or penalty bench at any time during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation. Substitutions made prior to the altercation shall be permitted provided the players so substituting do not enter the altercation.

It’s obvious from the many replays that Lucic was still on the bench when the brawl started. You see him standing in front of the bench for a long time before getting on the ice. And when he gets on the ice, he immediately joins in the brawl.

But secondly – and perhaps more importantly – was Lucic even supposed to be – legally? – on the ice?

The NHL’s own time chart doesn’t have Lucic on the ice just prior to the brawl.

Now this makes sense as it was Lucic’s line coming on the change. And on the replay, you do see Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille leaving the ice and David Krejci and Nathan Horton coming on.

The problem is, Lucic was supposed to come on for Shawn Thornton, and obviously, Thornton hadn’t left the ice yet as he was fully engaged with Alex Burrows and the other Canucks.

Maybe the league has a better explanation than this, but from what I’ve seen, I don’t know how Lucic can escape the automatic suspension for leaving the bench to join an altercation.

J.J. Guerrero

Founder and Executive Editor of Canucks Hockey Blog. Proud Canadian, hardcore Canucks fan. I would like nothing more than watching the Canucks win the Stanley Cup. Against the Leafs.

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9 Responses

  1. Lindsay R says:

    Let’s move the NHL back to Canada and see how things work differently. Here people care more about the game than the money it brings in and who’s friends with whom!

  2. Jlomoinnb says:

    You people are a riot. You complain and act like you just won a stanley cup. Oh wait, The Bruins did. Eay.

  3. peanutflower says:

    Whatevs, dinkus.  If the situation was reversed you’d doubtless be spitting your beer all over the place.  Lucic was clearly — more than clearly, there are pictures and vids of him leaving the ice at least with one foot and then returning to the ice.  The NHL made a really strange decision to rescinde the penalty.  That weasel Marchand better get some punishment.  Imagine, the heretofore classy Claude Julien standing up for that little asshole.  It boggles the mind. 

  4. Bighank29 says:

    You should be confused because your being a godamn hypercrit. I guess it was ok for you to have six guys on the ice. I mean Sedin was in the middle of it but yet Lappiere is the one to replace him and he was in the brawl. The difference here is Lucic was never on the bench. He was still on the ice. Never once was on the bench. It doesn’t matter if there are 6 guys on the ice. No one left the bench. Call it to many men on the ice but no one left the bench. But as you can’t defend Vancouver because as you see Lappier was the replacement for Sedin but as you see in the video Lappiere came to the scrum away from the play so he was come from down ice away from the Vancouver bench but yet Sedin was still on the ice….Hmmm hypercritical homers much. I hope your prescious Burrows gets suspended for his stick work and your coach gets fine or suspended from his duties to tell other players to attack Marchand. Didn’t Vancouver leanr last time they made these comments and Bertuzzi got Moore. You guys, your players and coaches are idiots.

  5. Bighank29 says:

    Yeah they care more about the Vaginas that Vancouver has yup I doubt it. Hey Calgary, Winnepeg, Toronto, and Ottawa still play a tough game. It’s just the girly men from Vancouver and Montreal that suck. I remember when Vancouver was really tough…to bad. But it is funny how your tough guy can jump players in other games, then talks tough after the game but doesn’t back it up on the ice….pussies!!!

  6. bighank says:

    If a player is on the ice he is on the ice. Lucic never got on the bench or left the ice. You guys are idiots, but yet Sedin was on the ice and so wasn’t Lappiere. Lappiere came on for Sedin but yet they were both involved.

  7. Dunny23 says:

    Lucic was on the ice because of “the five foot rule” which I’m not even really sure if it is a rule or not, but you hear about it all the time. Basically when the player coming off the ice is within 5 feet of the bench the player going on for him comes on the ice. Thornton was within 5 feet so Lucic hopped on the ice. You actually see Lucic on his way back to the bench when the scrum starts as not to get a too many men on the ice penalty, but he is still a legal player on the ice at that time (kind of confusing i know). The league determined since Thornton was within 5 feet that Lucic legally line changed just prior to the scrum happening. Hence why it was also legal for the Canucks to have 7 players on the ice when they jumped Thornton.

  8. James says:

    that’s ignorant evryone is tough on the computor bighank… was an awesome game and it could have gone either way… good thing we didn’t have luongo in net though he sure sucks playing in Boston ..  Let them play hockey  !!! I don’t think  he should have been tossed seeing that he could have done some damage to Bieska in that position and chose not to.

  9. Albert says:

    The whining crowing of the Canuck’s web followers is a disservice to the team. I am a Bruins fan, and a Sharks fan, and a fan of the NHL in general, including the Canucks. The Canucks team is what it is. Hockey players from around the world doing their best. The over hyped whining as if no hit has ever been so vile is just ridiculous. The grand proclamations from a single game is just ridiculous. The obvious bias is just ridiculous.

    I sure hope no one on the Canucks reads any of their fan-bloggers, because this only perpetuates the sadly incorrect perception of their team as a bunch of whiners with no backbone. I don’t think they are, but you as Canucks fans are not helping that perception.

    As for moving the NHL back to Canada, I assume you will also make it so the Habs once again get first choice of Canadian players, fixing the league so they win an inordinate number of Cups that I’m sure has nothing to do with who is friends with whom nor the money that brings in.

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