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Fanelli Hit Earns A Year Suspension


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Not sure where to post this as it is about hockey but not the NHL. Kitchener ranger Fanelli took a wicked hit last week. He has a fractured skull and facial fractures. He is currently in serious but stable condition. Link to the hit -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMNGKQFdAtY

The OHL comish Branch brought the hammer down on Erie Otters forward Michael Liambas suspending him for the entire season and playoffs. I think players need to learn respect and watch out for other players in vulnerable positions. The sentence ends 20 year old Liambas' OHL career.

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I'm torn on this ruling. I am absolutely not a fan of bone-crushing hits on vulnerable players - well bone-crushing hits in general seem pointless to me on a certain level - and am a longtime believer that a guy like Scott Stevens was an incredibly dirty player despite what the 'rules' or 'common perception' dictate. And having watched the hit a number of tmes I think it was dirty just because you could tell the players only intention was to plaster the kid into the boards. Now I don't think it was his intention to injure as I rarely think that is an intention, but the desire to inflict a massive hit on someone is a tacit admission of the desire to hurt. Now I do realize that the kid turned at the last second which undoubtedly worsened the effects of the hit. I think that was a poor decision on his part but I'm not into blaming the victim as hockey fans so typically are. The constant, "Keep your head up" refrain drives me crazy. How about, "Don't hit a guy with his head down." That is dirty. But by telling our kids at a young age to keep their heads up in the wake of a brutal body blow we are in effect telling the kids that it is not only encouraged but downright justified to smoke a kid with his head down. It's his fault for not being aware right? Wrong. What benefit do you get from concussing some guy as opposed to just knocking him off-stride? But in saying all of that, a full-season suspension for a hit which was not "illegal" according to the rules apart from perhaps a charging or boarding call seems to be a bit much. But again, I've read the perpetraitor of the hit has a history of dirty plays. I'm not sure what his history is but if it is significant enough I can understand ending his junior career early. Hockey doesn't benefit from having guys that like in the league - television ratings be damned. So I don't have a firm opinion on the suspension but I can only hope this kid walks away from this injury relatively unaffected because in the end he's someone's son who's playing a game. No one deserved to be laid up like he is right now.

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I'm not so sure on this suspension. It looks like a pretty clean hit as he doesn't leave his feet, doesn't raise his arm up, and didn't even hit the guys head. It's sad and unfortunate that this hit resulted in such a severe injury but this suspension is a little too much.

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I'm not so sure on this suspension. It looks like a pretty clean hit as he doesn't leave his feet, doesn't raise his arm up, and didn't even hit the guys head. It's sad and unfortunate that this hit resulted in such a severe injury but this suspension is a little too much.
almost all of it was just bad luck... however, Liambas does leave his feet... I didn't see it either the first few times I watched the video -- I blame the poor video quality and the white on his skates -- but eventually I saw that he lunges/jumps as he hits him and his right skate definitely leaves the ice and maybe the left one as well... not that I think he was going for a head shot at all, I think he just really wanted to crush the kid with a 'legitimate' check...
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The guy came from a long way to deliver that hit so i would definitely call it a charge. The guy had ample time to reflect and ease up a bit before nailing him like that,,, so definitely you have to say he had some intent to hurt this guy. One of the shots did show him lift his right skate a little,, to crunch up his body to deliver a more concentrated hit but i couldnt tell if his other skate left the ice. If he has a bad history, then IMO he deserves the year,,,otherwise its vicious and deserving of a suspension of some sort.

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People keep calling it a leagal hit. He got a match penalty for boarding therefore not a leagal hit. Junior hockey is not pro and most of these players will never play pro. It should be common sence that if you weigh 180 pounds and you are moving at 30mph your weight is what about 5 times greater and the other guy is up against the boards what do you think is the result the fact that there are not more injuries like that is amazing. Players are bigger and stronger but a teenagers body has not finished growing and their bones and muscules are still devolping, I aplause the suspension because maybe these players might change the culture and that is how to get dangerous hitting out of the game. Maybe other league should abopt suspensions based on the injuries, because if hit someone say like Bertuzzi did years ago he would still not be playing, after all he affectively ending Moore's career it is only fair.

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I have been thinking about this hit for awhile. I went to youtube and found additional footage. I think that there is a lack of respect among players. Yes you can lay a big time hit but is it necessary. Fanelli had passed the puck and left himself vulnerable. But it is Liambas who continues to accelerate and follows through with the check on a vulnerable opponent who no longer has the puck.

I have watched a lot of WHL hockey the last year or so and seen far "dirtier" hits. Dirtier in that players jump and it is a definite hit from behind or a knee on kneeetc. I have not seen this heavy of a suspension. I feel for Fanelli and I am hoping he recovers fully from his injuries and I do believe a suspension was necessary. I think that the severity of the suspension was overdone.

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I don't like the suspension on this one. The suspension, I feel, is harsh because of the result of the hit... Not that hit itself. Which was far from being the most malicious hit I have seen anytime recent. I don't like suspending people based on the outcome. Suspensions should be handed out based on the actual blow, not the result. Why would we want to only suspend people when someone is seriously hurt? How does THAT prevent people from throwing nasty hits? People won't stop throwing the elbow, or jumping, or hitting from behind if they know, "Well... As long as he doesn't get hurt SERIOUSLY I'm off the hook." The hit, in this case, was the result of one player turning towards the boards at the last second and making a routine board/charge penalty into something much more. I don't want to blame the victim, and I agree a suspension should be handed out... But, a year is too much. I think 5-15 games would be more appropriate. Send the message when someone's hit is malicious and nasty, not when the result is that someone is seriously hurt. I also don't see the player jump on this one.

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I don't like the suspension on this one. The suspension, I feel, is harsh because of the result of the hit... Not that hit itself. Which was far from being the most malicious hit I have seen anytime recent. I don't like suspending people based on the outcome. Suspensions should be handed out based on the actual blow, not the result. Why would we want to only suspend people when someone is seriously hurt? How does THAT prevent people from throwing nasty hits? People won't stop throwing the elbow, or jumping, or hitting from behind if they know, "Well... As long as he doesn't get hurt SERIOUSLY I'm off the hook." The hit, in this case, was the result of one player turning towards the boards at the last second and making a routine board/charge penalty into something much more. I don't want to blame the victim, and I agree a suspension should be handed out... But, a year is too much. I think 5-15 games would be more appropriate. Send the message when someone's hit is malicious and nasty, not when the result is that someone is seriously hurt. I also don't see the player jump on this one.

True, but in our society while both the intent and the result are punished, in general the result is much more harsh.

Murder and attempted murder are different charges in law. Drunk driving becomes vehicular homicide when you kill someone, etc.

It may seem unfair since "luck" ends up affecting the ruling, but the point is, you shouldn't put yourself in a position where you can cause the undesired outcome. Don't drink and drive, and you won't be charged with vehicular homicide as a result.

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True, but in our society while both the intent and the result are punished, in general the result is much more harsh.

Murder and attempted murder are different charges in law. Drunk driving becomes vehicular homicide when you kill someone, etc.

It may seem unfair since "luck" ends up affecting the ruling, but the point is, you shouldn't put yourself in a position where you can cause the undesired outcome. Don't drink and drive, and you won't be charged with vehicular homicide as a result.

Drinking and driving, murder/attempted murder are a bit of stretch when comparing to clean body check vs. dirty body check in sports, don't you think? I think it's difficult to draw those comparisons. I understand that the OHL wants to curb lack of respect... I'm not sure this is the way go about doing it. As far as this particular play goes, we could probably look at 5-10 hits per game that are neither that much worse or that much cleaner throughout the course of a Junior game, an AHL game, or an NHL game.

How about this for curbing injuries like this? Don't allow 16 and/or 20 y/o to play in the OHL.

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While I agree a suspension was waranted, the one Branch layed out was way too harsh. I watched it dozens of times and while the hit was technically legal, it was pretty vicious so I assumed a 10-15 game suspension was coming. But the entire year!? Come on!

What would have happened if this kid layed up a little? He might have been injured as well, or his coach would have benched him.

I feel for the injured player and hope he can play again, but I still think the suspension is too high. Until the NHL starts leading the way with setting an example. The CHL will be forced to face many more of this type of incident.

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While I agree a suspension was waranted, the one Branch layed out was way too harsh. I watched it dozens of times and while the hit was technically legal, it was pretty vicious so I assumed a 10-15 game suspension was coming. But the entire year!? Come on!

What would have happened if this kid layed up a little? He might have been injured as well, or his coach would have benched him.

I feel for the injured player and hope he can play again, but I still think the suspension is too high. Until the NHL starts leading the way with setting an example. The CHL will be forced to face many more of this type of incident.

Actually just to clarify one point,,,,,the hit wasnt technacally legal as it was clearly a boarding or charging call making it illegal. ;)

The suspended player is how old? I hope this isn't a case of making an example out of someone because it was easy to. Ya know, here's the overage player who's never going to make the NHL so let's suspend him... 'Cause that wouldn't be bold at all. That would almost be cowardly.

He was 20 and you do bring up a good point JR.

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The suspended player is how old? I hope this isn't a case of making an example out of someone because it was easy to. Ya know, here's the overage player who's never going to make the NHL so let's suspend him... 'Cause that wouldn't be bold at all. That would almost be cowardly.

As well his team left him high and dry. They didn't appeal the verdict. otter's press release

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Clean hit, keep you head up or don't play hockey. Coaches should teach players how to take a hit which would prevent injury. At most i would gave this guy a 10 game suspension because he did charge full speed but its still clean.

His head was up..

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The hit was boarding but other then that the hit was just a hard hit. The problem in this whole affair, was the defense's decision to turn around on the play. I was trying to defend the guy by saying the hit was a little high, so my friend and I tried to reproduce it at a slow speed on the ice today. Even when I bent down really low to make the hit, the impact would always send his head first towards the boards. His bodies momentum is heading into the hit, and when he turns it is still but now his body is turning, the impact from the oncoming forward added momentum to the turn, resulting in his head smashing into the boards. Hit him high, hit him low, hit him fast, hit him slow, his head is going into those boards no matter what.

Yes the guy could have eased up a bit, but from what I learned today trying it out, I don't think it would have stopped his head from hitting the boards as they did. Perhaps looking into the helmets the junior and pro players wear is something to think about. I noticed most of the players wear the model of helmet with the yellow foam padding. Hardly any of them wear the EPP foam helmets that we see in the stores (they are always the most expensive, Bauer 8000 for example) I have fallen on my head wearing both types of helmet, and the EPP foam ones reduce the impact significantly. It could make a big difference in head injuries. Also why do pro players helmets fall off so easily? Do they not get them fitted properly?

My 2 cents.

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His head was up..

Right before he gets hit Fanelli put his head down to look at the puck which made the hit a lot worse than it would have been had he kept his head up the whole time. With that said, I kinda agree because Liambus is a dirty player( OHL fans would know) and he charges the guy from center ice. Hopefully he recovers and can continue his hockey career.

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