VAL D'OR — A Quebec major junior hockey player has been suspended indefinitely following a hit that has drawn comparisons to the devastating blow to the head Patrice Cormier delivered to Mikael Tam last month.
The latest incident occurred six minutes into the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) game between the Val-d'Or Foreurs and the Rimouski Oceanic on Wednesday. Oceanic forward Alexandre Durette suffered a head injury and cuts to his face after his visor broke when he was elbowed by Val-d'Or defenceman Marco Scandella.
No penalty was called on the play and Val d'Or even scored a goal at the other end of the rink while Durette lay injured on the ice.
The Oceanic organization lodged an official complaint with the league on Thursday and suggested the hit was similar to the one delivered by Cormier, who was subsequently suspended for the rest of the regular season and playoffs.
"It's a dangerous (hit) that has no place in hockey," said Oceanic general manager Yannick Dumais. "Scandella delivered an elbow directly to Durette's head."
Foreurs head coach Marc-Andre Dumont disagreed that the two hits were similar, saying that it was "too bad" the Oceanic would make the comparison.
"It (shows) a lack of judgment," he said before suggesting that Scandella was simply trying to protect the puck he had gained possession of following a race with Durette.
"His elbow was parallel to his body at the precise moment of impact," continued Dumont, who also said both of his player's skates remained on the ice when he delivered the hit.
"This afternoon, (QMJHL disciplinarian) Raymond Bolduc informed me of his decision to suspend Marco Scandella indefinitely," league commissioner Gilles Courteau said in a statement. "After seeing the hit, I believe it is the right decision while the disciplinary process runs its course."
Scandella's suspension will remain in effect pending an investigation.
Durette was released from hospital on Thursday.