OHL PLAYER SUSPENDED for the year.
Recently most of us have seen the vicious hit in the OHL last week. If some have not, here is a bit of background.
Michael Liambas was suspended for the year plus playoffs after a boarding call in a game against the Kitchener Rangers. He was assessed a match penalty for the hit on Ben Fanelli. The 16 year-old was taken to hospital in critical condition but thankfully has been recently released from hospital.
The question I ask is, “Does the punishment fit the crime?”. I feel that Liambas 100% did not try, in any way, to hurt the kid. I do believe that he was going too fast and a penalty was warranted but a year suspension is extreme. We can go back to many incidents over the last couple of years. One of the more highly publicized incidents was Todd Bertuzzi’s hit on Steve Moore. Bertuzzi’s premeditated jump ended a career for Moore. Liambas was obviously not premeditated but yet gets a year suspension. I personally think all leagues should get together and come up with the same ruling for these type of head shots.
Back to the Liambas hit – if Ben Fanelli did not get hurt I don’t think it would have been a match penalty. I truly hope Fanelli gets a clean bill of health and resumes his career. I also hope Liambas can also come back from this incident and resume his hockey