Maybe the NDP is onto something after all…
Just kidding, but seriously – things are starting to get a little out of hand out east where yet another indefinite suspension has been handed out in the QMJHL for another vicious blow to the head.
This time around, the culprit is 19-year-old Val d’Or Foreurs defenseman Marco Scandella; the second member of Team Canada to cross that line in the last few weeks.
Here’s what happened: Rimouski Oceanic forward Alexandre Durette got caught with his head down as he tried to poke a loose puck past Scandella, the six-foot-two, 190-pound Minnesota Wild prospect, who was cutting across the ice with his head up.
It’s being widely reported as an elbow to the head, but the footage isn’t quite conclusive on that front. Either way, it is a shot to the head, but Durette does make himself a bit vulnerable by reaching out for the puck like he does.
The hit left Durette with a concussion and, as you'll see in the video below, what looks like a big chunk missing from his face (his visor apparently broke into pieces).
There was no penalty on the play and the league only became aware of the incident after the Oceanic sent them the tape. Unfortunately for Scandella, the timing of the hit will probably influence the length of the suspension he receives.
What do I mean?
Well, the QMJHL and the OHL have already ended the seasons of two players and sat another guy down for 20 games for similar hits to the head. Now that the precedent is set, the pressure is on those leagues to uphold that standard.
To me, it’s the open-ice version of a player getting hit from behind because they turned at the last second. I’m not saying it’s Durette’s fault, but he knows Scandella is coming and he puts himself in a very vulnerable position by reaching out to try and poke the puck past him.
What do you think: Should the league throw the book at Scandella, or is the whole thing being blown out of proportion?
PS - The two teams meet again tonight!