Draisaitl: 'I'd probably get off the ice' if playing with Tkachuk at ASG
Warning: Story contains coarse language
Leon Draisaitl doesn't plan on putting aside personal grudges at the 2020 All-Star Game.
The Edmonton Oilers star said Monday that if he and teammate Connor McDavid have to play with Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk at the three-on-three All-Star Game tournament, he would "probably get off the ice," according to the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson.
Draisaitl, McDavid, and Tkachuk will all be members of the Pacific Divison All-Star team. The game will be played on Jan. 25 in St. Louis.
Tkachuk ignited the Battle of Alberta rivalry on Saturday by taking multiple runs at Oilers forward Zack Kassian. Kassian eventually took exception to a hit and tried to fight Tkachuk, but the Flames forward had no interest in doing so.
Tkachuk said postgame that if Kassian doesn't want to get hit, he should "stay off the tracks." Kassian responded by calling Tkachuk "a young punk" and "a p----."
Oilers forward James Neal, who played for the Flames last season, also defended Kassian, calling Tkachuk's comments about the tracks "stupid," according to TSN.
Neal said Tkachuk shouldn't be taking huge runs at Kassian if he has no plans to answer the bell. Neal used the example that he wouldn't take a run at Flames enforcer Milan Lucic because "he's gonna kill me." Neal added, "It's a huge respect thing."
Kassian received a two-game suspension for his actions, but Tkachuk won't receive any further discipline.