Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kassian Gets 20 Games

OHL commish David Branch today announced that Windsor Spitifires forward Zack Kassian has been suspended for 20 games after his hit on Barrie's Matt Kennedy.

The official release is here.

When Sportsnet's Sam Cosentino was on the program Tuesday, he spoke about an angle he saw that night that showed, frame by frame, Kassian not leaving his feet.

So what do you think... too light, too heavy or just right? we offer up 2 different video replays of the incident and our thoughts after 'Read More'.

Dean: For me it's too light. I think to send a strong message, if that's possible in today's game, Branch should have kept Kassian out until the playoffs. Just my take, what's yours?

Guy: Without having the benefit of seeing the hit from the angle that Sam Cosentino referred to, I also think this was too light of a penalty. Kassian is a repeat offender, from this angle it was a shot to the head and the victim was hospitalized for a serious head injury. The bar was set by Branch himself - the difference between Kassian and Mike Liambas: Kassian is a 1st round NHL draft pick and isn't in his final year of OHL eligibility. For the sake of being consistent with his own policy I thought Branch had to sit Kassian out for the final 21 regular season games and the playoffs.

Below is another version of the hit from another angle and I suggest blowing it up to full screen (it won't be blurry).

Does this change anyone's opinion? Does this new footage support what The Windsor Spitfires were telling Cosentino on Tuesday... that Kassian's feet did in fact not leave the ice until after the collision?


Racki said...

I don't know how you can tell from that angle that he didn't leave his feet. So I'm not really buying it.

Guy Flaming said...

Yeah, I'm not 100% sold either although angle #2 does make me think a bit longer about it. Millard made it pretty easy for me though when he said: "It's still a head shot".

Would you agree Racki that Branch appears to be inconsistent now with regards to his previous ruling on Liambas?

Racki said...

Hey Guy, I always shy from getting too "bleeding heart" on those types of things, because I've always been a fan of old-time hockey. However, yes, I do think it's inconsistent, especially when you consider Kassian has a history. I question a lifetime ban in either case (I think that's pretty excessive), but does Kassian get a bit more leeway because he's a first rounder? You would hope not, but I think both hits are ones that make you say that this player wasn't hitting to body a guy off the puck, but rather for the glory of the other guy lying in a heap afterwards.

Racki said...

Btw, before I sound like a barbarian, I don't consider it old time hockey to be permanently injuring another player.