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Kassian has no regrets about Tkachuk altercation: 'I'd do it again'

Derek Leung / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Zack Kassian isn't going to apologize anytime soon for his actions toward Matthew Tkachuk that warranted a two-game suspension.

"I'd do it again all over again," Kassian said to reporters when asked if he'd do anything differently. "Since I've been in minor midget I've stood up for myself and my teammates. People don't do that to me or my teammates when I'm out there. To me, those are two dangerous hits."

The Edmonton Oilers forward got into an altercation with the Calgary Flames winger on Saturday. After two questionable hits from Tkachuk, Kassian engaged in a one-sided fight with him. He earned a double-minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct while Tkachuk got nothing.

"I'm a big boy. I love big-boy hockey. But if you're gonna play big-boy hockey, you gotta answer the bell every once in a while," Kassian added. "I'm not crying about the hits, it's hockey, it's the game of hockey - it's rough.

"I thought they were a little bit on the blind side, but at the end of the day I've laid big hits like that, I've been hit like that - but two times is more than enough. You play with fire, eventually, you're gonna get burned, and he messed with the wrong guy and I don't think he realizes that we're in the same division and I have a great memory."

Oilers head coach Dave Tippett went a bit further in assessing Tkachuk's actions but acknowledged it's time to look ahead.

"I don't like the hits," he said. "I think anybody who's been in the game a long time knows that they're predatory hits, but (Kassian) dealt with it. We'll take the suspension and move on."

Kassian will be eligible to return from his ban for the Oilers' game against the Flames on Jan. 29.

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