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The 5 Game Dilemma... and other issues

So upon hearing that London Knights forward Ryan Rupert only received 5 games for impersonating a lumber jack, I wanted to do what many people have done. And write my initial reaction to the situation providing complete knee jerk reaction.

Well I decided to fester on the manner before providing my knee jerk reaction.

I think the main problem with Ryan Rupert getting 5 games for his slash and mugging of Soo Greyhounds' Nick Cousins is the fact that a) it was only 5 games and b) Nick Cousins got 2 games for his 'part' in the altercation.

SO lets just look at the first issue here. Only 5 games for a first time offender who freely slashed an opposing player who was 'defenceless' and then proceeded to use his aggression to pounce on the fallen Greyhound and punch him with his bare hands. Mr. David Branch has proved again, as a Yahoo! Sports writer likes to say, 'the only thing consistent about the OHL is its inconsistency.' This season has set the precedents further than before by practically stating, if you attack a player in the head in any way, shape or form, it is 10 games and possibly more. Lets look back at 2 other suspensions that were 20+ games. former OHLers Zack Kassian and Zac Rinaldo both received indefinite suspensions for basically open ice hits that did make contact to the opposition players head. Yes, they were repeat offenders but those were also hockey plays. Ryan Rupert did not openly slash Cousins during a hockey play. The game was over, the buzzer went, and the Greyhounds got onto the ice to celebrate their new goaltender, Jack Campbell, first win as a member of the Soo. So how is this less of a suspension? This shows a great level of 'lack of respect' for your fellow league mates. and again, it was not a hockey play. This is equivalent to the instances where legal action is pursued due to stuff that happens in the confines of the game. Am I saying that legal action should be pursued? no. I believe that if it happens in the sporting world, during a period of time designated as 'playing time' then the law does not apply. That said, there should be a stiffer penalty for Rupert.

Now looking at point b, I have talked to many a media and players in regards to whom Nick Cousins is... needless to say, I am surprised to admit that 80% of these people agreed that if it would happen to a player in the OHL it would be Cousins. Fine, the man has a mouth on him, plays that agitator card and gets under your skin. Sean Avery made a career out of it, Steve Ott is doing the same in Dallas and there are countless others around the world who get paid to be that person. The issue with Cousins is that Branch actually suspended Cousins for 'taunting'? or did he suspended him for being in striking distance of a London Knights players' stick? 2 Games for 'excessive celebration'? I don't know. I am unsure how the victim got penalized 40% of what the attacker received... and he was suspended before the attacker was. Mathematically this makes Rupert's actions only 250% more heinous than Cousins 'taunting' the player. how you can suspend the player who was hit with the slash, and then a few more blows from bare knuckled fists is beyond me... then again it is the OHL... Nothing should surprise me anymore. But thank you David Branch for keeping this guy on his toes.

Oh yeah, here is the consistent part of the OHL. Dean Pawlaczyk and Alex O'Neill each received suspensions for head shots on the same day as Rupert got 5. Pawlaczyk earned a 15 game suspension for being a repeat offended, Dean was already suspended for 10 games earlier this season. If healthy and he does not get another suspension, Pawlaczyk would only play, at best 35 games this season, just over half the season. As for O'Neill, he fell under the head shot equals 10 games minimum theory.

Consistency meets inconsistency... Or maybe, us as media who was declaring that there should be at least 15 game suspension for Rupert are nothing but hungry sharks wanting blood... Nah, lets go with the inconsistency thing. The court of public appeal has spoken. Thank you Mr. Branch for ignoring it entirely.

Comments :

3 comments to “The 5 Game Dilemma... and other issues”
MisterDB said...

Just one tiny nit picking correction, Campbell won his first game for the Soo a 3-1 decision in Kingston Nov 4th

Paul said...

The ref really should have given him a bullying penalty since he jumped Cousins and started punching him when he was on the ice. He didn't though, had he then Branch might have given him 10.

Anonymous said...

It will never be admitted but how about 5 games because Cousins got what he had coming. This is not the first time he has caused a "scrum" at the end of a game or period (Kitchener Thanksgiving Monday) Rupert crossed the line but 5 games and some highfives from others around the league is the perfect punishment.

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