Citing a lack of intent, NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan did not impose any supplementary dicsipline on Milan Lucic
in the wake of Saturday night's collision with Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller.
"I had the hearing because I did make an initial assessment of the play as I do with all plays, but I did have some questions for Milan and I wanted to hear directly from him," Shanahan told NHL.com. "They were regarding his intent; at what point did he know there was going to be a collision; and whether or not he felt he had the time to avoid the collision. I was satisfied with his answers."
In a statement Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli said he was satisfied with the NHL's decision.
"We respect the process that the League took to reach this decision," wrote Chiarelli, who added, "I am also proud that Milan took the high road, and chose not to engage in an exchange of words after the unfortunate comments that were made about him following the game."
Prior to the decision, Lucic had maintained an even keel in regards to Miller's comments.
"Not much," was Lucic's answer when asked for a reaction. "Obviously, he felt like he needed to stick around and say what he said.
"For me, it’s in one ear and out the other and I just move on and focus on what I need to do to continue helping this team be successful."
Thankfully, Lucic will be able to continue to do so from the ice and not the press box.
"Obviously you’d be disappointed about it no matter what happens — if you got a suspension — no matter if the team was on a roll or not on a roll," said Lucic. "Even for myself, these last eight or nine games I’ve found my game, so the last thing you want to do is get out of the line-up."
Lucic maintained that it was not his intention to run Miller.
"That’s never a part of our game plan — to go after a goalie and run him over or anything like that," said Lucic prior to speaking with Shanahan. "I was going in full speed and all of a sudden he was coming out full speed, out of his net, and I saw him in the last seconds.
"All I did was brace myself where I felt like I was in a position where I couldn’t avoid the check."
Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien defended his club and his player.
"I don’t think you’ve ever seen us do that to goaltenders, ever," said Julien. "He’s been here for a long time.
"I spoke to him and he told me the same thing after the game. He said, 'Listen, I had my head down and lifted it up and he was there.'
"Basically what he told you guys is what he told me, so it’s as simple as that."
Thankfully for the Bruins, it remains simple for Julien to put out a lineup against the Devils on Tuesday.
"Every guy in the line-up is tough to lose and Luch has been on a hot streak," said defenseman Dennis Seidenberg
. "He’s been very good in front of the net picking up rebounds and scoring and winning us games.
"Losing him would definitely not be good."