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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

Too Harsh? not harsh enough


Bill R, 2009-11-04 16:12:31

In football, once the QB has thrown the ball, any defender in pursuit of the QB MUST refrain from finishing his tackle.

In hockey, there is an allowance for "finishing checks" to players in last possession of the puck. There is referee discretion whether something excessive surrounds that check. There is no clear definition to describe excess.

This has troubled me for years, i.e., what distinguishes a play from interference, charging, ergo for boarding, etc.. What it appears, lately, is whether or not the player hit is injured enough to require medical attention.

Like hockey, like football, there exists a paradigm of habits that can be changed. Football purists hated new rules set in to protect QB's; but, we've all moved on and understand their importance. There is not a reason in the world to institute a similar rule which means, "once the puck is gone, do what you need to do to turn away..."
Melman33, 2009-11-04 16:12:23

I think this was a little to much

Sure I feel for the injured kid, nobody should have to go through all of that, but at the same time everybody agrees that the hit was clean and there is no premeditated reason to cause an injury (a la Todd Bertuzzi)

So why is this boy being punished to such an extent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time
Wiley67, 2009-11-04 16:11:59

He deserves the suspension. Its a brutal elbow to the head. Someone is going to get killed. Its only a matter of time now.
Good, 2009-11-04 16:08:10

This suspension is WAY out of line for what the hit was. His feet stopped moving before the hit, he didn't leave his feet, nor did he make it a head shot.

And.... Fanelli was facing him square on until a fraction of a second before the hit.

My problem here isn't the hit, its the ease at which the guy's helmet came off. If it was on properly and if he'd had a cage, then a large amount of this damage could have been reduced or eliminated entirely.

Hockey is a contact sport, and if you don't use the protective equipment properly, you'll get hurt.
Chris, 2009-11-04 16:02:27

Yes, too harsh...Ranger turned at the last second...Otter was finishing his check. How many times has Grapes said not to turn your back like that.

Also, when will a rule be enforced where a player MUST have a tight helmet with a tight chin strap? They wear them so damn loose!

Hope the Ranger kid is going to be okay though.
Marc, 2009-11-04 16:01:05

The suspension is to harsh. It is terrible that the opposing player was seriously injured but the hit was not worth a season long suspension. The Rangers player turned his back on the play moments before a player with a full head of steam was about to hit him which is something hockey players are taught at a very young age not to do. The suspended player did not leave his feet or from what I can tell frome the video aim for the head on puropose. I do think that this does bring into question whether there should be such a large age bracket for junior aged players. A 16 year old is a kid while a 20/21 year old is growing into a full strength adult.
James Love, 2009-11-04 15:56:58

This suspension is ridiculous, it was a clean hit. Branch is bowing to the public.
Harv, 2009-11-04 15:45:57

I think it is way to harsh for this young man to pay this price for playing the game the way it is supposed to be played. While Fanelli needs all the support everybody can give him so does Liambas. This is going to mess him up mentally. From what I have heard he is an excellent young man. Don't destroy him because this happened. I don't see people getting suspened for hurting somebody playing football from a hard legal hit. Over reaction.
Chris, 2009-11-04 15:39:22

The penalty is too severe!!! They are penalizing the result...not the infraction. Constantly we are told that they have to penalize the infraction, this is not consistant with previous actions! This was not a dirty hit, vicous yes, but it was a hockey hit!
Ridley Wetton, 2009-11-04 15:33:39

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