Guelph coach suspended indefinitely

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

GUELPH -- London Knights president and head coach Dale Hunter says the precedent was set in 2000 when his team lost two coaches to lengthy suspensions. Now, the rest is up to the OHL.

Guelph Storm coach and general manager Dave Barr was suspended indefinitely yesterday pending a hearing for an incident late in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarter-final Monday at the John Labatt Centre.

Storm defenceman Ryan Pottruff, also suspended pending the hearing, came off the bench and a few seconds later delivered a two-handed slash on the Knights' Corey Perry.

Perry's right leg appeared to take most of the blow.

Pottruff got a major and automatic game misconduct and Barr was ejected after linesman Kevin Hastings reported to referee Carman Cox that he had heard Barr say "someone go out there and break someone's wrist."

Barr, who afterward said he was ejected "for saying something stupid" on the bench but denied sending a player out to hurt an opponent, wouldn't comment last night.

He said he'll wait until after his hearing with commissioner David Branch.

"Based on our preliminary review, we're extremely concerned," Branch said. "The linesman was clear, concise and unwavering in his report."

The precedent Hunter spoke about involved the Knights in the 2000-01 season, the first year the Hunter brothers, Dale and Mark, had the team. Rookie head coach Lindsay Hofford was suspended 12 games and the team fined $5,000 for an incident during a preseason game with Sarnia.

Ryan Adams, with London on a one-game tryout, sucker-punched Dusty Jamieson off a faceoff with two seconds left.

Jamieson required eight hours of reconstructive surgery on a broken nose and Branch held Hofford accountable for Adams' actions.

Then, on Nov. 8, the Knights were dealt the most severe off-ice suspension in league history.

GM Mark Hunter, acting as interim coach, was suspended from all duties for the balance of the regular season and also couldn't coach for one year, while the team was fined $10,000, after Hunter admitted sending a player onto the ice to challenge a Guelph player to fight.

"It's up to the league. They're going to do what they think is right, compared to what has happened in the past," Dale Hunter said.

"They should use it (the past) as a precedent. If it's true, it's out of character for Dave Barr. He was a good, honest hockey player, but stuff happens in the heat of a game and we have to take responsibility."

Storm president Jim Rooney spoke on behalf of his team.

"I'm sure Kevin (Hastings) did his job as he felt he had to do it . . . but I know this about Dave Barr, he's not the kind of gentleman who in any way reflects intimidation to hurt someone.

"If there were any comments, each party will be able to express straightforwardly what happened. . . . Let's have the hearing."


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