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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

The Hit

Fred

By Fred Wallace

 

I don't know either Michael Liambas or Ben Fanelli.

They may not know each other either, but they will be forever linked in OHL lore.

A week ago, a devastating check by Liambas of the Erie Otters on Fanelli, a Kitchener Rangers defender, was delivered with such force, it left Fanelli hospitalized with both skull and facial fractures.

And that really should be the focus of everything; hopefully a relatively quick and full recovery for Fanelli.

As for Liambas, as it stands, we've seen the last of him in the OHL.

And rightly or wrongly, that has become the greater focal point.

Was the year long banishment for the hit a just penalty ?

From video, from accounts at the site, as you can imagine, there's a wide range of viewpoints on what was what.

The majority consensus is that Liambas is being punished, not for being dirty or for using an illegal hit, but rather because the force of his actions injured Fanelli so badly.

And I don't know if that's right.

In the last week I've seen, Richard Panik of Windsor  headchecked into the glass, Geoffrey Schemitsch of the Attack struck from behind into the boards and Anthony Nigro from Ottawa get slewfooted.

The penalties in those 3 cases, which were as potentially dangerous as the Liambas-Fanelli incident, ranged in penalty from nothing, to a minor, to 5 minute major & a game.

Again, the biggest story is the recovery of Ben Fanelli.

The next biggest story is the frequency of dangerous on ice incidents.

And way down the list should be the debate on whether Michael Liambas deserves to be banished or not.

I'm Fred Wallace


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