John-Michael Liles won’t miss any time after a questionable hit Tuesday night. In fact, he won’t even have to open his wallet, either.
The NHL Department of Player Safety announced Thursday there will be no supplemental discipline for the Boston Bruins defenseman after his high hit on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.
Liles’ clean record — he’s never been fined or suspended — likely helped his case in a phone hearing with the league.
“I was trying to step into him as he went by me,” Liles explained to reporters after the game Tuesday, according to the Boston Herald. “I didn’t think I came up high with it. I thought I was just trying to step into him. I don’t know if he was falling or if he ducked. Obviously, he was down for a while. I didn’t see a replay, so I’m not really sure. I’m not trying to hit him up high. Most guys I can’t even reach their heads. I’m just trying to do my job at the blue line, which is to step up and just get a piece of him. I didn’t think my elbow came up high at all.”
Kucherov was shaken up after the hit, but he eventually returned to the game, which probably helped Liles’ case, too. The 35-year-old has been a nice find for the Bruins, who acquired Liles at the trade deadline. Liles has two assists in five games with Boston.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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