STEVE SIMMONS, SUN MEDIA
The junior hockey career of Michael Liambas is over.
The Ontario Hockey League came down hard on the Erie Otters forward, suspending him for the entire season and the playoffs.
The decision came after the boarding incident last Friday night in Kitchener in which 16-year-old Ben Fanelli was seriously injured.
Fanelli remains in a Hamilton hospital, after suffering a fractured skull, a broken orbital bone and other related injuries.
What is your opinion of the suspension? Was it the right call? Have your say in our forum.
To everyone who says Liambas should be suspended because of the severity of the injury, pull your heads back out of your behinds.
Players these days need to be taught what we were taught oh so many years ago.
KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!
You can all blame the "new" rules, the fact that Fanelli wasn't wearing his helmet properly, Fanelli turned, Liambas was attempting to injure.
The fact is that if Fanelli had kept his head up and was aware of the other players on the ice, this hit would not have happened.
The Voice of Reason, 2009-11-16 12:27:17
The OHL has a reputation for overreacting. It was a dangerous play, yes, but not dirty. Suspending a player for playing the game the way he was taught doesn't send a good message.
If they don't want to see such terrible injuries, they need to address the root of the issue--the rules.
rr, 2009-11-08 21:08:14
The reaction by the commissioner, Dave Branch was knee-jerk and political.
Players are taught to finish their checks.
But finish a check against someone who released the puck 3 seconds earlier and 200 feet away from your end?
That was stupid!
Vince in Ottawa, 2009-11-08 10:38:13
The point of a pressing forecheck is not only to capture the puck. Its all about setting up your long game, meaning, to have the opposing defenseman hearing footsteps for the rest of the game in hopes to have him make a bad play and cough up the puck NEXT TIME! Liambas knew his chances of getting the puck on the play were minimal, so his job is then to send a message to this rookie defenseman, which he did, just the way I am sure he was taught from pee wee on. Had Fanelli NOT turned from the hit ONE FOOT from the boards, he would have been fine. Maybe shaken up, but fine. The suspension is ridiculous, and all of you who think it is a good thing, put your kids in soccer or tennis. STOP TRYING TO CASTRATE OUR NATIONAL GAME!!! It is not a game for pansies, straight up. If you don't like it, leave it!!! When I was playing select hockey, the message from our coaches, our dads, our moms, everyone was DON'T turn your back on a hit and KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!!! And if you do, you get what you deserve for being a DUMMY!!! A lot of you are confusing pro level hockey with Timbit's league.
Paul, 2009-11-07 11:21:27
The forward was going in to hit and pressure the back man.
Liambis went into Fanelli then finished with the elbow at head level. Slo-mo and stop play will show this.
Don't confuse my explanation of seek and destroy with deliberate attempt to injure, as hockey players are taught how to hit and pressure before they make junior ranks.
Branch's decision although perceived harsh, is the correct one.
But the Liambis' suspension will mean nothing without the same type of suspensions for player hitting in the same way even if they don't cause a life threatening injury.
The other junior hockey leagues should adopt this type of penalty on all similar plays.
The penalty should be greater for a second offence. If Liambis is out for 60 games, then the next guy should get the same, even if an injury is not sustained by the receiving player.
There should be a lifetime ban for repeat offenders who don't get it.
For those that have mentioned that Fanelli had turned into the boards or his helmet seemed not to be strapped tight enough, it's
The first issue is the way Fanelli got hit.
That said, coaches everywhere should have this play on hand to show their players what can happen. Coaches should encourage players to turn when the puck is away and the last man is in isolation or will not directly join the play.
Those of you who mentioned the exemplary results of the NHL on similar hits are correct - Players have to be trained before they get to that level.
From The Cheap Seats..., 2009-11-07 08:27:52
All "blind" or partially blind hits usually have the same ingredients in common. The "hitter" is not interested in the object of the game - i.e. puck possession. Make the players play the puck FIRST and the devastating hits (not checks) should begin to reduce or disappear. Add the element of stated long term suspensions for hitting (not checking) from behind and you may start to get players, coaches etc. attention.
Be willing to end some careers to save some lives and maybe some will get the message. Perhaps others will get it sooner and get out of the game.
Dan, 2009-11-06 16:36:49
Its to bad a player was hurt but it was a clean non vicious hit and it has and always should be a part of hockey.
As they say KEEP YOU HEAD UP!!!!
my 50 cents, 2009-11-06 16:17:00