James Neeson, Toronto
A lot of people are chiming in about the suspension received by Michael Liambas for his hit on Ben Fanelli. In a few articles I’ve read, people have been saying the suspension is justified by the injuries sustained by Fanelli.
Really? Because what that says to me is that if Fanelli was able to get up and skate to the bench completely under his own power after taking that hit, Liambas would have only deserved a 1-5 game suspension. And that is wrong.
As much as some people don’t like it, injuries shouldn’t be taken into consideration for suspensions. If Liambas had hit Fanelli square in the back and sent him into the boards, that’s a suspension. And for all hits like that, there should be a pre-determined length of the suspension. You shouldn’t get 20 games for giving the guy a concussion if you only get two games for the same hit and he’s all right.
While I generally agree with David Branch on his decision to suspend a 20-year-old for the rest of the season, I can’t agree with anybody who says “because of Fanelli’s injuries, Liambas doesn’t deserve to play again.” That right there says Liambas does deserve to play again if everything went right for Fanelli and he had at worst a minor injury.
The intent is what you suspend, not the result.