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NFL CANADA


Was the OHL's suspension of Liambas too harsh?
Wed, November 4, 2009

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.

Liambas banned following hit

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62 Comments

The league has to take some responsibility. Why is a 21 year old playing against a 16 year old? Why is a 16 year old not wearing a cage?

If he was wearing a cage, the helmet would not have come off and he would not have been badly injured. The reason for no cage is that the league wants them to fight and entertain the fans. The league should be ashamed of themselves!!!
Dean, 2009-11-04 18:08:11

If the hit was legal, then the rule needs to be looked at. 'I was finishing my check' means 'I was too slow to get there on time, so I nailed him anyway'? Whether Fanelli turned away is irrelevant. Liambas intended to hit him as hard as he possibly could with no repect or regard for a fellow player. I don't believe Liambas deliberately injured Fanelli, but he certainly didn't care what the outcome was.
Gord Dobie, 2009-11-04 18:07:15

THE PLAYERS AT ALL LEVELS HAVE TO GET BACK TO

RESPECTING EACH OTHER.THEY HAVE TO REALIZE

THEY ARE GOING TO HIT AND HURT THERE IS NOTHING WRONG

WITH GOOD BODY CONTACT,BUT

THE IDEA OF PUTTING A GUY UP TWO ROWS ONLY MAKES SENSE TO GRAPES OR SOMEBODY

WITH HIS MENTALLITY


RALPH, 2009-11-04 17:46:13

Give your head a shake Mr. Branch. It was a clean hockey hit that your league strongly promotes and desire all other times. My thoughts go out to both players involved.
ohlnorm, 2009-11-04 17:34:25

I never saw the check and cannot comment on whether or not the suspension was warranted.

What I can say is Junior hockey should look at 16 year olds playing against 20 year olds.

They were lucky the same thing did not happen to that young player in sarnis who was hit by the overage player from London
Wally K, 2009-11-04 17:26:30

Mr.Branch is out to save hisown skin here, by placating those who decry the physicality of hockey. The real problem here is the age difference in the OHL. The body of a 21 year old is somewhat more powerful than that of a 16 year old. The OHL needs to reevalute having 16 year olds in their league. suspending a player for playing clean is totally absurd. Is it time for non contact hockey in the OHL?
chris simpson, 2009-11-04 17:19:35

Unfortunate, but the rules of hockey state that it is a clean hit. Hockey is high contact, high risk. It's sad, but it was a clean hit.
Matt, 2009-11-04 16:56:55

I feel this is far too harsh, it was not an illegal check, (I know, Don Cherry, I hear you every week on this subject) unfortunately Ben Fanelli was seriously injured and the outcome of the suspension has come to this. However now two players careers may be over and Michael Liambas has more than enough on his mind without this. I hope people realize these young men have to live with this the rest of there lives. Best wishes for a healthy recovery from this injury.
Rick, 2009-11-04 16:52:14

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the hit.
BillyHW, 2009-11-04 16:41:59

Yes-this was a pure political decision by Branch. The injury itself is tragic, but the hit itself while harsh appears to be legal. Too harsh--and given this is his final year, all this does is ruin two careers.
Phil Dynes, 2009-11-04 16:17:47

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