Bulldogs Forward Craig Martin has been suspended 8 games....that's right, EIGHT games for his check from behind against the Clippers last Friday night.
The facts - It is the longest suspension, for a single act, for a non-repeat offender in the BCHL since sometime PRIOR to the 2007-2008 season.
Logan Johnson received 25 games in September of 2011, after receiving 4 games in December of 2010.
Vernon Viper Defenceman Mark Hamilton earlier this month received the league minimum two game suspension for a check from behind against Prince George Spruce Kings Forward Jake LeBrun that ended up putting LeBrun in a hospital bed with a severe concussion and cuts to his head and face and whiplash.
The hit came after Hamilton was penalized earlier in the game for a check to the head. According to the Spruce Kings, the league deemed the hit a "hockey play"
I guess Martin's can't be called the same thing?
If anything, the Martin hit happened at least TWICE as fast.
Martin's hit happened at the tail end of a lightning-fast end to end rush. He lost the puck, and pursued it, and the Clipper player by half a second beat him to it, and put his numbers in front of him. I'm not at all defending the hit, or blaming it on Colton Dahlen. I'm instead trying to stress the point that it was accidental, and a fast hockey play gone wrong.
Just to reiterate my point - he had less than HALF A SECOND, travelling at a high rate of speed pursuing the puck, to react to another player ending up in front of him. That isn't enough time to stop, to deviate course....it's not enough time to do anything really, is it?
Hamilton never had the puck and was chasing Lebrun, who was in posession of the puck. All off of a faceoff, and not an end to end rush. Maybe saying the Martin hit was twice as fast is wrong. Four times as fast might be better.
Take a look at the coverage from CKPG TV and make your own opinion.
The above hit resulted also in both Coaches meeting in the Broadcast Booth following the game and engaging in a very loud and very ugly verbal dispute complete with numerous profanities, F-bombs included, while both broadcasters were in the process of going through their Post Game show. Here's hoping no one in either community was bothered enough to complain to the CRTC about what they heard as the Canadian Radio-Television Communications Commission is like any other Government Institution and can be not very fun to deal with at times.
One can assume that the league will add some money to their coffers and the Dogs will appeal this one. More on that later. It was a dangerous hit, without question. It was also a hit thrown by a player that was wreckless, but was not a hit thrown with malicious intent. It was more accidental, and a "the game happens so fast" kind of hit in my opinion. I would hazard a guess that anyone else in the league wouldn't describe Craig Martin as a player going out there trying to hurt anybody, or as a player that even plays within reach of the "edge"
One has to wonder what the league is thinking with this one.
How about this "blast from the past" picture, from the 2003-2004 season? It has always been one of my favorites! That's then-Bulldog Assistant Captain Ryan Storey in the picture.
The six-game homestand continues tonight as the Bulldogs (1-13-2-1, 5th Island) host the Nanaimo Clippers (7-7-0-0, 4th Island) for the second meeting between the team in five days, and the fifth game of a six game homestand for the Dogs. It's also the third straight Wednesday game for the Dogs on Home Ice.
Van Isle Ford Bulldogs Hockey on 93.3 The Peak FM tonight with the pregame show at 6:45 and the puck drop and play by play to follow at 7:00pm with myself, Bruce MacDonald (analysis and colour) and Dan Tisserand (statistics) bringing it all to you.
Tonight's 1st Intermission guest is Bulldogs DefForencemanward Garrett Halls, who I thought adjusted quite well to playing Forward last game. There is a good chance he'll play up front again tonight.
Tonight's 2nd Intermission guest is Chris Wahl, Play-by-Play voice of the Trail Smoke Eaters, who are here to face the Dogs on Saturday night.
If you aren't in listening range of 93.3 The Peak FM you can listen/watch the game by:
Listening Live on your computer: www.933thepeak.com
Listening Live on your SmartPhone : www.tunein.com/mobile/
Watching Live on your computer/SmartPhone www.fasthockey.com