The Game Misconduct penalty assessed to Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic during NHL Game #598 this afternoon in Boston has been rescinded, National Hockey League Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating Terry Gregson announced today.
Lucic was assessed a Game Misconduct 3:54 into the first period for violating National Hockey League Rule 70.1 – Leaving the Bench. However, a video review of the incident revealed that Lucic did not leave the bench to join or start an altercation but rather had entered the ice legally over the boards and was about to step back onto the bench through the door when he changed course and joined a scrum.
"The referees reacted to what they saw," Gregson said. "The only player they saw coming from the bench area from either team was Lucic. But with the benefit of replay, we can see that Lucic had previously entered the ice over the boards legally to join the play and actually was contemplating stepping back onto the bench through the door when the altercation ensued.
"It should be further noted that a review of the video confirmed that all players on both teams involved in the altercation had entered the ice legally for the purpose of joining the play. None entered the ice for the purpose of joining or starting an altercation, which is prohibited by Rule 70."
NHL Rule 70.1 – Leaving the Bench reads: "No player may leave the players' or penalty bench at any time during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation."