Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kerrzy's Notebook: Another Headshot

For the third time this season, a player in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is facing a serious suspension for what might be an interference penalty in the NHL.

Moncton Wildcats winger Scott Trask was assessed a major penalty and handed an indefinite suspension for a blow to the head of Saint John Sea Dogs forward Aidan Kelly with less than five minutes to go in a 5-2 Moncton win.

As you’ll see in the video below, Kelly is skating the puck out of his own end when Trask makes a quick cut and catches him with a shoulder to the side of the head, sending him right to the canvas.

You know what that hit reminds me of?


It’s very clear that the powers that be in the world of major junior hockey take head shots a lot more seriously than they do in the NHL. In the three hits in the above picture, a player seeks out another player that doesn’t see him coming and goes right for the head.

None of those hits resulted in anything more than a two-game suspension. It’s a different story in the ranks of major junior though.

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies forward Patrice Cormier was suspended for the rest of the season plus the playoffs in late January, Val d’Or Foreurs defenseman Marco Scandella was suspended for 15 games in early February and now Trask faces a similar punishment, all for blows to the head.

In the Ontario Hockey League, Erie Otters forward Ben Fanelli was suspended for the rest of the season plus playoffs back in October and Zack Kassian of the Windsor Spitfires was suspended for 20 games, also for headshots.

The most any NHLer has sat out for targeting the head of an opponent this season is three games, and even then, they’ve decided that some blindside headshots are okay and some aren’t.

While we’re talking about suspensions and the “consistency” that the NHL preaches, can someone tell me why one of these hits is a four game suspension and one is a two game suspension?

So, Lapierre hits Scott Nichol, who missed one game, and gets a four game ban and Ovie gets two games for putting Brian Campbell out for up to two months.

Does that make sense to anyone?

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